On July 23rd, staff members Jill and Mariya presented the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) to the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission is dedicated to a broad range of issues affecting women and girls, including violence prevention, gender equality in the workplace, and equal representation on public decision-making bodies. The Commission was pleased to learn of the advancements made in this now 4 year old project and other guest presenters during the meeting, such as Minouche Kandel, Women’s Policy Director for the Department on the Status of Women and Pamela Anderson of ETR Associates, also made reference to the utilization of the DVIRC. ETR Associates completed a community needs assessment for the Department on the Status of Women and found that the DVIRC was of vital importance.
As an online interactive community network, the DVIRC provides a safe space for member domestic violence service providers to share, network, and access updated information so that effective and appropriate resources and referrals can be offered to domestic violence survivors. This system which is being utilized by 35 domestic violence service providers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Ventura, and Del Norte is now seeking to expand to other parts of California. In the past four years of the project, our agency has learned that to successfully transition to an online platform for collaboration, human relationships are still essential to the success of the project. The DVIRC seeks to enhance collaborations through a new medium, connecting service providers throughout the state, and providing survivors with more resources and options to help themselves if dealing with an abusive relationship. As a result, the DVIRC builds bridges between service provider and survivor.
The project was developed by W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and Force by Design in 2010. It has been funded by the Strong Field Project (jointly funded by the Women’s Foundation of California and Blue Shield Against Violence Program), the Verizon Foundation, the Blue Shield Foundation of California, and the David B. Gold Foundation.