SanArte ~ Healing Hearts with Art Support Group for Spanish Speakers

We are excited to start a second round of Art support group sessions – this time for Spanish speakers! This support group utilizes art projects for expression and as a “healing tool”. There will be an art project each week as well as some other activities such as guided meditations, breathing exercises, etc. It is designed for anyone who is impacted by domestic violence. We are using projects designed by “A Window Between Worlds.” There will be group agreements that we will review at the beginning of each group.

Grupo de Apoyo a través del arte


Photo from WBW, the “I Can We Can” Project

Desde el lunes 20 de abril hasta el lunes 13 de julio
De 10:30 am a 12 pm

El grupo se reúne todos los lunes por un total de 12 sesiones (no habrá grupo en Memorial Day)

W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
333 Valencia Street, Oficina 450
San Francisco, CA 94103

Quién podría participar? Este grupo será ofrecido completamente en español para personas que han sido afectadas por la violencia doméstica.

Preguntas? Contacte a Paola al (415) 864-4777 x305

Otra información importante:
* las facilitadoras del grupo no podrán abrir la puerta a personas que lleguen más de 15 minutos tarde. Por favor llegar a tiempo.

* se sugiere ofrecer un aporte de $2 a $20 por sesión. Cada participante puede donar si así lo desea.

* Si está preocupada/o por su seguridad al venir al grupo, estamos aquí para ayudar con un plan de seguridad.

* Lamentablemente no se ofrecerá cuidado de niños.

Start date:  Begins Monday, 4/20 10:30am-12:00pm. Group meets every Monday at this time

End date: Monday, 7/13 for a total of 12 sessions (office closed on Memorial Day).

Location: W.O.M.A.N., Inc. “meeting” room
333 Valencia st. Ste. 450
San Francisco, CA 94103

Process to attend: All Spanish-speaking community members impacted by domestic violence are invited to attend.

Questions? Contact Paola at (415) 864-4777 x305.

Other important Info:
-Groups will start on time and facilitators will not be able to answer the door for anyone who is more than 15 minutes late.

-There is a suggested donation of $2 to $20 for each group. You are invited to donate if you wish.

-If you have any concerns about your safety in attending the group, we are happy to talk with you more about that and assist with any safety planning you might want.

-We are unable to offer assistance with childcare during this group.

Volunteer with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. – Apply for our Spring 2015 Training!

Look for a way to give back to the community? Our joint 40-hour survivor support training with the Riley Center is coming up this Spring and we want you to join us! Application deadline is April 17th, 2015 April 26, 2015(due to continued interest and space availability, we are extending the deadline.) Please note, at this time we are only recruiting volunteers for our 24 hour Support Line, Latina Program, Language Support Advocates and Drop-In Support.Volunteer Flyer

Training dates are as follows: 

May 8,15, 22, June 5,12 all Fridays 9:30-5:30

You can fill out an application online here!

Upon completion of your application, please email Alicia at to confirm we have received your application.

Here are some things volunteers have said about the 40-hour training:

  • “The facilitators were complimentary to each other, had a wealth of knowledge & experience to offer the group, made the space feel like a safe place to learn and grow and created a positive environment.”
  • I loved all trainings, presenters, topics, activities. I wish we could have an 80 hour training!
  • “Presenters on legal information were incredibly helpful and easy to follow. It felt like a safe/supportive space where we built a nice community.”
  • “I learned so much!”
  • “Thanks to the facilitators for your time and amazing energy. I really enjoyed the training. It was an awesome experience.”
  • “Thank you very much for all the hard work. I now have new tools under my belt on how to better support DV survivors overall. Great training.”

Acknowledging Sexual Assault in Abusive Relationships

Now that we are nearing the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I thought it would a relevant time to shine a light on sexual assault as a prevalent part of domestic violence. Unfortunately, I’ve found it is a widely held belief that sexual assault in relationships does saam_tealribbon_jpegnot or cannot happen. Too often people believe forced sex by a partner is not “real rape” and/or that rape by partner is “just not that bad.” After all, spousal rape was not criminalized and classified as rape in all 50 states until 1993. In my short time of volunteering as an advocate on the the domestic violence support line, I’ve noticed DV survivors often downplay (or entirely don’t acknowledge) rape and sexual assault from their partners. Who knows how many callers omit that part of the abuse because they may feel ashamed, unjustified or otherwise don’t realize that what they are experiencing is sexual abuse. I don’t feel like enough people talk about that — which I can understand because, honestly, it is an ugly topic but its certainly a conversation worth having. I also feel like those are some of the most disturbing stories I’ve had to hear about. The way we downplay sexual violence within relationships/marriages perpetuates harmful myths about what sexual assault really is and serves as a barrier for survivors coming forward about their experience.

The idea that sexual assault in a relationship can’t happen is an archaic myth that needs to addressed and consistently challenged! Consent is a necessary part of every intimate encounter whether that be with someone you barely know or someone you’ve been married to for years. You are not obligated to engage in sexual acts that make you uncomfortable. You do not have to feel guilty for not wanting sex. Your partner is not entitled to your body– your body is yours and yours alone. You have the right to say no and have your boundaries be respected. You have the right to feel comfortable and safe!

~ Shaena, Program Assistant & DV Advocate

If you are interested in additional resources on intimate partner sexual violence, here are some articles that may be of use: 

Looking for support? 

SF Women Against Rape 24 hr. Support Line | 415-647-7273

National Sexual Assault Hotline | 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. 24/7 Support Line | (415) 864-4722

National Domestic Violence Hotline | 1-800-799-7233

Thanks Katrina & KNow Research for all you’ve done for WOMAN Inc!

conferenceKatrina Noelle has been with us since the spring of 2013 and has been a wonderful addition to the events committee and to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. as a whole. She has helped draft and analyze surveys targeted at W.O.M.A.N., Inc’s community partners and supporters as well as website users in general. Recently, Katrina and KNow Research supported our 2015 San Francisco Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon team by donating customized t-shirts for the runners. Right now, she is helping us with in-person qualitative research initiatives to understand the key to volunteer retention.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 8.29.20 PMWhen asked about what keeps her connected with W.O.M.A.N., Inc she said, “I value the ability to help an organization doing good for the women in my local community. I spend a lot of time helping corporate and retail clients support women’s needs as consumers. In my volunteer capacity I value any contribution I can make towards them feeling, safe, secure and free as well.”

Thank you Katrina for all that you’ve done and continue to do for W.O.M.A.N., Inc!  We appreciate your generosity and hard work and feel very fortunate to have compassionate people like you supporting our cause.
twitter: @kat_noelle

Volunteer Appreciation Week Spotlight: Erica Meurk

Erica -- puppy 2

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I first got involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in July 2014, when I attended the 40-hour training in working with domestic violence survivors co-hosted by W.O.M.A.N., Erica -- hikingInc. and The Riley Center. I had been looking to gain experience as a phone-line counselor as a way to determine whether I wanted to go back to school to become a therapist.

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
My inspiration to volunteer with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. had more to do with assisting people who are struggling with difficult situations in recognizing their strengths than with working to combat violence, per se. I had a decade-long career in non-profit development and communications before moving from Seattle to the Bay Area and deciding to work toward becoming a therapist. Through my work in non-profit communications, I often interviewed community members and donors in order to write newsletter articles and blog posts – and I found that these conversations were always a highlight of my work week. Eventually, I came to understand that the interviews I was conducting – which focused on people’s accomplishments, values and hopes for the future – had a lot in common with individual therapy sessions.

Erica13) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?

Since September 2014, I’ve been volunteering on the 24-hour support line on Tuesday afternoons. Since I usually take my shift from the office, I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know some of the organization’s lovely, committed staff. I feel honored to be part of an amazing team.

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
Volunteering at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been my first foray into peer counseling, and it’s been extremely valuable to me both personally and professionally. I am continually impressed and inspired by strength and resiliency of the people I talk to on the support line – and heartened by how powerful it can be to listen respectfully and help people recognize that they have the resources to work toward healthier relationships and happier lives. In fact, volunteering on the support line has helped me realize that I want to focus on people’s assets and strengths as much as I can as I begin my work as a therapist.

What W.O.M.A.N, Inc. has to say about this stellar volunteer:

  • “Erica has been with WI since August of 2014 but it seems like she’s been with us for much longer.  She does so well as a peer counselor, and of the times I’ve witnessed her on the support line, she makes sure each person calling is given the space to process and be heard.  I imagine Erica being a great coach or a therapist!  She has always been very communicative and reliable.  Whenever she works remotely she doesn’t hesitate to email us or check in when she has questions relating to a situation she had just encountered.”

Volunteer Appreciation Week Spotlight: Monica Gonzalez


1) When did you start volunteering with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
November 2014image2

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?

I did some volunteer work in the past for domestic violence shelters and have been wanting to volunteer again within the domestic violence realm.

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?

I have been involved in the fund raising activities. It has been a great experience working with the team. Everyone is really dedicated and enthusiastic about the fundraising.

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?

image3Volunteer work can sometimes be intimidating and taking time out of our busy lives can be difficult. Volunteer work helps to build character in the end and also remind you of the importance of giving back to your community. We hear about domestic violence on the news every day and it helps to know that there is so much support in the city on these issues.

5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

Its been a great experience for me so far. The people that I have met on the events committee and the W. O.M.A.N Inc. staff have been wonderful and supportive to our ideas. I have found this volunteer work very rewarding, it is refreshing to be part of the change that we hope for every day.

What W.O.M.A.N. Inc. has to say about this stellar volunteer:

  • “Monica came to the Events Committee during a time of transition and stepped right up to help out. She’s consistently helped lead the team by her active participation in monthly meetings- creating detailed agendas, and taking notes. She’s been integral at helping the group stay on task. Monica also coordinated a recent fundraiser and helped us make a key contribution to our overall fundraising efforts for the Rock N Roll Marathon.”

Volunteer Appreciation Week Spotlight: The Outreach Boos

Presenters, Jaymie Fraizer & Annie Fisher, with Tyler Kingsley at the Super Bowl 50 Headquarters

Annie Fisher

Attachment-11.) What was your favorite outreach event in the past year?
In February, Jaymie Frazier and I (Outreach Boos!) hosted the Community Education Series: Teen Dating Ins and Outs, at the SF Public Library. We were beyond thrilled to host nine (9) teenagers for the training who were filled with thoughtful questions and really added their own perspective to the conversation. It was a great training and a fantastic experience for all.

2.) What motivates you to continue your volunteer work at WINC?mewithjordan
Wherever we go to train, table, etc., we have the best conversations with our fellow SF community members. Sometimes it is a person who has received services from WINC, sometimes a supporter or a person with genuine questions. Getting the face of WINC out and in the public motivates me everyday, as you never know what is going to be the catalyst, what is going to be “that thing” that assists a survivor in choosing to get help.

3.) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
Meet whomever it is you’re speaking with where they are in the moment. Judgement has no place as judging others is more of a reflection of how one feels about themselves, rather than the person standing in front of them. This goes for folks seeking assistance as well as those who question DV survivors. Open dialogue is key.

Jaymie Frazier

1.) What was your favorite outreach event in the JFrazierpast year?
This past year has been filled with several Outreach highlights, such as the successful continuation of the Community Education Series and the opportunity to present to the Super Bowl 50 Committee, but one particular event stands out the most.  In order to honor Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February, my fellow Outreach Boo, Annie, and I co-facilitated a presentation on teens and healthy relationships.  We were so thrilled to have a mixture of male and female teens between the ages of 12 – 16 attend, as they were an amazing audience.  They were highly engaged throughout the presentation, asked genuine questions about teen dating violence, and voiced the amount of insight they gained from the presentation.  The cherry on top was being able to see them create their own “Dating Bill of Rights” and share it on their Instagram accounts for friends to see.  At the end of the presentation, I was filled with so much excitement, fulfillment,
and gratitude because I felt the Outreach Boos really made a difference.  It wasn’t too long ago that Annie and I created the Community Education Series in hopes of reaching out and educating the community about domestic violence, so to be able to watch our dreams come to life is truly amazing!

2.) What motivates you to continue your volunteer work at WINC?
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in itself is all the motivation I need to continue my volunteer work!  I have volunteered for over 3 years now, and the reason I’ve stayed this long is because of all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure collaborating with, the impact I’ve been able to witness, and most importantly, knowing all the work that still needs to be done.  Domestic Violence is a serious issue that occurs across all systemic levels, and thus needs dedicated people and unique organizations like W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to take a stand.  As a school counseling graduate student, I am able to see first hand the lack of knowledge and awareness our youth have in regards to domestic violence and healthy relationships.  In order to promote healthy relationships, my goal is to target and educate our youth of today, so that we can all take part in creating a violence-free future.

3.) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I would say to push yourself to try new things and get involved in as many ways as you can!  Over the years I’ve tried my hand at various volunteer opportunities, such as the children’s group, support group, crisis line, social media, and events group.  Through these different avenues, I was able to see different aspects of W.O.M.A.N., Inc., and it was a great way to expand on my own skills and personal growth.  For example, when I started in Outreach, I was deathly afraid of the idea of public speaking, but now I look forward to Outreach presentations!  Another important piece of advice is no matter how involved you decide to be, it’s important to practice SELF-CARE!!!  Anti-domestic violence work can be tough, and in order to best serve others, we must remember to first take care of ourselves. Be sure to set time aside for yourself to do things that you enjoy and/or with people and things you love!

What the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team has to say about these stellar volunteers:

  • “Jaymie and Annie have represented WI through various outreach events. During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February the team coordinated the Community Education Series at the San Francisco Public Library and presented to 7 teens on Healthy Relationships and Teen Dating Violence.”
  • “They have contributed to WINC in a variety of areas- social media, events, training- to name a few. They are a dynamic team and they approach each opportunity to represent the agency with an enthusiasm which is infectious. They demonstrate a unique sort of commitment and dedication. We are lucky to get to work with them!”

Volunteer Appreciation Week Spotlight: Alice Yom

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I first learned about WOMAN Inc. from someone who was in an abusive relationship and found it to be a helpful resource. I myself was in the process of seeking information to help me through my personal experience with domestic violence in a former relationship.

While looking through the website and the Facebook page, I connected with a fellow volunteer IMG_9100(Travis Marsh) to join the SF Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon WOMAN Inc. running team. Shortly thereafter, I joined a work group meeting in the WOMAN Inc. office where I met more volunteers, and the staff. Now, I am happily part of the ongoing volunteer work group team, and look forward to contributing my time and energy for a long time!

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
As an outcome of my personal experience, I felt an indescribable desire and drive to help other people experiencing domestic violence. I felt incredibly fortunate in my case to have the amazing support of friends, family and organizations in the Bay Area. I wanted to give back to my community, pay it forward, and turn my negative experience into longer lasting positive impact.

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
I began fundraising for WOMAN Inc. through the SF Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon running team. As a longtime fan of long distance running and coming from a professional background of marketing and advertising, it was natural to volunteer myself to lead team practice runs and contribute ideas to the team. As part of the work group, I helped plan and organize happy hour fundraisers (although much of the work was already set up by the time I joined the team!).

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
The entire experience with joining the running team, getting involved, fundraising, and being part of making positive impact in my community was amazing. I met incredible people! The best part is being part of something you truly believe in, and engaging other people along the way. I am very grateful to have met the WOMAN Inc. team, and am excited to continue my involvement.

Volunteer Appreciation Week Spotlight: Aida Hurtado

Aida pic 2

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I submitted my application to become a crisis line volunteer in Fall 2014. Shortly there after I began the 40 hour training and began my first crisis line shift in December.

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?Aida Pic 3
Unfortunately, there are way too many instances of domestic violence that occur in our society. To me, violence relates to a large spectrum that includes everything from every day microaggressions to physical and emotional violence. I have always believed that each act of violence, in and of itself, should be acknowledged somehow, that it should be named and addressed in ways that are relevant and important to the people experiencing it and are being affected by it. Many times, instances of violence are simply “swept under the rug” and that needs to stop. I wanted to volunteer with W.O.M.A.N. Inc. because if I can at least help 1 single person, even if it’s in the most smallest manner, to help end a cycle of violence, then I would be successful at my job. My long term goal is to help a family unit stop the cycle completely so it will grow and flourish with what ever their personal dreams and goals are. I strongly believe that everyone has the right to be safe from harm regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, ethnicity or economic status.

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
So many! First and foremost I have been exposed to inspiring and talented people who LOVE what they do and believe in the mission of eradicating domestic violence. I have been able to learn of some pretty awesome organizations in the Bay Area that help others in need. I have also been able to work the Latina Program and do some behind the scenes work with them.

Aida pic 44) How has your involvement impacted your life?
Even though I have been volunteering a somewhat short time, I know that this is manifesting into a life long career path. Working with clients and listening to their resiliency is an incredible motivator that has translated into my own life. It motivates me to work harder and to figure out strategies to tear down walls that have been blocking personal progress. Also, working with survivors has altered my perspective on humanity as well as how I approach the world and my appreciation for the gifts I have in my life.

5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I would like to tell new volunteers and community members that are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N. Inc. to do it. With out a doubt, just do it. There is a tremendous amount of support and resources given to volunteers by the staff to deal with situations that are presented to you. All that said, when ever I tell people about my volunteer work, many comment on how they don’t understand   how someone could be involved in this field, they wish they knew how people take the emotional toll, or they would like to get involved, etc. I love talking about my experience because there are a lot of misconceptions about domestic violence and the people who seek resources like W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s. This gives me the opportunity to speak of it and dispel a lot of the misinformation that perpetuates those misconceptions.

What the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team has to say about this stellar volunteer:

  • “I appreciate her flexibility and willingness to go above and beyond to support LP survivors. She acts with great empathy and respect when working with survivors.”
  • “I appreciate Aida’s work ethic. She’s shows up when she says she’s going to, is an excellent peer counselor, and is very committed to work we’re doing at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. As a volunteer who completed the last 40-hour training I’m impressed with her level of skills when working with community members impacted by domestic violence. Even when it comes to support line logistics, Aida knew what she needed to know when she first began volunteering on the line.”
  • “I appreciate how involved Aida is; she connects to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. programs and projects and goes above and beyond her volunteer work on the support line and in the Latina Program.”