On October 11th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was invited to take part of the annual Si Se Puede (Yes, we can) event at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. Si Se Puede is held each year in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month to honor survivors. The event was a free event held in Spanish to educate members of the community around domestic violence, immigration laws, mental health and inform others around what they can do regarding language barriers.
Members of the community were encouraged to ask questions and were given the opportunity to share what was on their mind. Questions were asked around the procedures of getting a VAWA ( Violence Against Women Act) and a U-Visa. Many attendees asked about the time frame and things they can do while waiting for their visas. Many attendees took the opportunity to find answers to their questions as well as clarifying the false information they may have heard from others. The presenters included members for Catholic Charities, MUA (Mujeres Unidas y Activas), Homeless Prenatal Program, and Carolis.
One informative workshop included overcoming language barriers held by Ana from Carolis. Members of the community were informed about the right to have services in their language and the right to ask for an interpreter. Many of the attendees shared how language has been one of their biggest barriers in accessing community services because they do not understand the information that is given to them or know where to get information in their native language and therefore might endure their suffering as a result. With knowing their rights, these attendees now feel comfortable asking for interpreters or asking for information to be given to them in their native language.
Another informative workshop that was held was the effects of domestic violence on children given by San Francisco Organizing project. This workshop gave attendees guidelines on how to talk to their children, and how to interact with their children around domestic violence in their home.
After the workshops many of the attendees came to the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. table to introduce themselves and ask what resources W.O.M.A.N., Inc. provided. We were happy to tell them about our Latina Program which works with monolingual survivors by supporting them in any way we can, such as providing case management, therapy and support groups as well as our 24 hour support line. Many attendees left thankful for the services W.O.M.A.N., Inc. provides and were happy to share the information with their community, as well as family and friends who might need domestic violence services.