What W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Echando Pa’lante Program Shows About Shared Power, Leadership, Relationship Building & Survivor Success

Since 1978, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has supported survivors of domestic violence through empowerment-based, survivor-centered programming that honors the personal autonomy, power and resiliency of people impacted by violence.  These principles are guided by seeing survivors as whole people who are the experts of their own lives. We’re very proud to share with you a report on a W.O.M.A.N., Inc. program that truly captures the essence of these grassroots efforts – this program is called Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward).

Echando Pa’lante is a survivor-led initiative co-created by women who had gone through W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latinx Program (in-depth case management for monolingual Spanish speakers) and the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team. Initially, Echando Pa’lante provided ongoing engagement and a creative, supportive space for participants post-crisis. The set-up was more open than conventional therapeutic atmospheres which allowed for community building and bonding between the folks partaking in the program. Motivated by the participants’ desire to get more involved, Echando Pa’lante evolved into a program that includes a comprehensive leadership component where the participants who’ve survived abuse and worked towards healing and recovery, are trained to be domestic violence advocates themselves. With the assistance of Montesinos & Associates, we developed an evaluation report through the lens of how survivors define success. This evaluation centers the voices of Las Pioneras (the pioneers), the first participants and steering group of Echando Pa’lante. Below, we’ll provide a brief synopsis of the results, but, when you’re done, we encourage you to read the full report here. In this evaluation, you’ll get to learn more about the inception and progression of Echando Pa’lante, and the impact of this co-created project shaped by the participants who inspired it.

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W.O.M.A.N., Inc. 2016 Recap!


Thanks for helping us reach new heights!
This has been another big year for us geographically, financially and programmatically.

Over the summer, we relocated from our long-term Mission office to a new space in the SOMA. The journey was a long one, filled with some trepidation and bumps in the road. At the end of it all, we are loving our new space as do our participants. Gentrification has pushed many amazing nonprofits out of San Francisco. Given this reality, we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to stay in the city we’ve called home since the beginning. We are extremely thankful for this transition and invigorated as we start this new leg in our journey.

Programmatically, we had a rousing year, offering our first hybrid domestic violence volunteer training. This was met with positive reviews, and participants loved the dual approach of online modules and in-person sessions allowing for activities, discussion and even art workshops to further the learning.

In addition to our training, we were honored to pilot our first Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward) training. Past program participants went through a nine month domestic violence training and are now active ambassadors for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. They have provided hours of domestic violence education, outreach, support groups and were even interviewed on television in Spanish on W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s. services.

Your ongoing support will be pivotal in our continued success!

Won’t you please make a gift to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. today?
Help us make 2017 the best yet!

Read more about our successes and the team members that help us to thrive in our
2016 Annual Report.

Thank You Blue Shield of California!

In August, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. presented our work to employees at the Blue Shield of California, San Francisco office. The generous employees donated a total of $6,580 to our programs and services. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is so appreciative of the continued support & collaboration we receive from Blue Shield and their staff.


Tiffany Cheong
Aashish Khanal
William Humphrey
Deborah Smith
Judith Hernandez
Joan LeJeal
Sierralyn Ee
Jyoti Dhillon
Keisha Bess
Claudia Tibbitts
Keisha Bess
Thomas Koskores
Grace Lee
Diane Rockwell
Nadine James-Ward

Because of people like you, we are able to continue providing support to survivors, their friends and family. Thank you, Blue Shield of California, for your proactive stance in shining a light and helping put an end to domestic violence.

@BlueShieldCA  #ShieldCACares

Support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. on Silicon Valley Gives Day!


Hello community members!  We are excited to announce that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was selected as apart of Silicon Valley Gives, a fundraising effort for non-profits throughout the bay, and we need your help to make it a success. SVGives is an online giving day that supports nonprofit organizations in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Benito counties. On May 3, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. will join together with hundreds of nonprofits to unite our community in the act of giving.

Leveraging investments from sponsors, the SVGives campaigns in 2014 and 2015 raised nearly $16 million from thousands of individuals to support charitable causes in our community.

Here are some ways YOU can help:

  1. 44DxXaL7Donate before & on the giving day on Razoo!
    1. Before: Though Silicon Valley Gives Day is on May 3, we are allowed to start collecting donations from now forward. Any amount, big or small is a helpful movement towards a successful campaign!
    2. During: Give at optimal times — each hour has a different fundraising challenge. We will be live updating on the Facebook event page and Twitter this day. SVCF and their supporters will be giving away over $3 MILLION in prizes to participating non-profits.
    3. You can visit our Razoo page here.
  2. Organize a fundraising event for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in support of SVGives day:
    • Interested in a more involved way of showing your support? Consider organizing a fundraiser/fundraising event! Not only are events an interactive way to get the community involved in a cause you believe in, Razoo make it easy to raise money for an organization of your choice. Simply visit our Razoo page and click on the “Start a Fundraiser” button located on the bottom right corner. All that you raise will go straight back to us!
  3. Help us spread the word! 
    • Increase our audience & visibility by sharing this post on your social media platforms!
      • Share this blog post about SVGives.
      • Show people the faces of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. by sharing our Microstories with your networks.
      • Direct people to our Razoo page/encourage others to create a Razoo fundraiser page.

Any bit of support, big and small, is much appreciated! Your contributions will go directly back to our programs that serve domestic violence survivors, their friends and family. You can learn about our services here & learn more about our current projects here.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is excited to announce some new funders and projects!

Hybrid Domestic Violence Training

Thank you to The Joseph and Vera Long Foundation and Sidney Stern Memorial Trust who recently made a contribution to support our hybrid training project!


Fall 2015 W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Domestic Violence Training Graduation

Thanks to their generous support, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. training participants will benefit from online learning modules designed to meet the diverse needs of adult learning. This offline training will enrich our time together, and allow for learning activities, group conversation and building relationships within our training groups. Scheduled to launch in late-Spring, 2016, our hybrid training will speak to better use of capacity and offer ease when collaborating with our community partners.

The Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation

Thank you to The Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Foundation for supporting our domestic violence services. A first time funder of our work, The Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Foundation are supporting us as we support survivors of domestic violence, their family and their freinds. Funds will be allocated to our support line, drop in services and our Latina Program. photo (11)Thank you, Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation for bolstering our services with your grant!

Echando Pa’Lante
Our Echando Pa’Lante program received a boost in funding, enabling us to train five of our past program participants to become domestic violence advocates. Echando Pa’Lante (Moving Forward) members are Latina immigrants who have survived domestic violence. These leaders will be trained to provide outreach, provide counseling, and facilitate support groups. This work was made possible in part by Blue Shield Against Violence Foundation.


Donor Highlight: Kayla Crooks & Blizzard Entertainment, SF Office

1)What is your name? Kayla Croobb1b42ba-b917-44e3-97dc-18fc2d8e8b38ks

2)How did you first learn about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I discovered W.O.M.A.N. Inc. after an incident with my now ex this past summer.

3)Please tell us about your fundraising efforts for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
During the holidays I decided the office should give back and I felt W.O.M.A.N. Inc. would be a great cause to give to. I then set up a wrapping station with one of my co-workers that had been in an abusive relationship a long time ago and we told everyone that we would wrap anyone’s presents for them just donate what you can. So people dropped in everything from quarters to twenties and at the end of the season we raised $119!

4)What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc’s anti-violence efforts?
(Trigger Warning: Depiction of physical abuse) 
I was in an abusive relationship in High School and thought that it would never happen again and just last year it did. Everything was amazing for the first couple months and then he relapsed into his heroin addiction. From there it was back and forth with me trying to help and back sliding and a lot of other ridiculous events until the day he was high and drunk then threw me into the door after I tried to tell him he couldn’t smoke in the apartment. From there I saw a flash of white then scrambled to get me and my dog into a locked room. He forced his way in with a kitchen knife, my best kitchen knife unfortunately, threw my 80 lb. dog like a rag doll when he tried to protect me then threatened to kill himself in front of me. Luckily, someone had called the cops and they came in before the situation got worse. I told myself I would never let anyone lay a hand on me in a relationship ever again a long time ago and once this happened I completely cut ties, changed my locks, and put a protective order in place.

Everyone in my mostly male office sees me as an incredibly strong female, physically and mentally, because of this I wanted to raise awareness about domestic abuse. I wanted all cdcd7498-5f95-4a5c-98de-d48d5017bf5fthe men and women to know that this  can happen to anyone, it doesn’t matter how strong or smart you are. There is always a possibility you could get pulled into an abusive relationship, it isn’t always like the cheesy Lifetime movies that make you yell at the TV ‘How can she still be with that guy?! She’s so stupid!’ So here I am, still recovering, in more debt than I’ve ever been in my life, still pretty depressed, and trying to get back to normalcy about four months after the incident. He texted me last Friday after a long period of silence, his usual ‘I love you more than anything bit’ and you know what I did? I deleted it all from my phone and actually went out with friends for the first time in a while and didn’t think about him.


5)What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
I hope that I can be an advocate for change and help people understand that domestic violence is never OK and it is NEVER the victim’s fault. I even had to correct some of the things my parents and close friends were saying because I knew their intention was positive but I needed them and others to understand saying things like ‘Why did she stay with him’ and ‘How did she let him steal over $20k without her suspecting anything?’ doesn’t help anyone. We need to educate people to understand that when someone is a survivor of a domestic violence situation it is never that person’s choice to be abused, whether it is physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or all of the above. We need to ask them to share their experiences when they are ready, and offer comfort and compassion, not blame.

6) Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
I love making things! Whether it’s woodworking or conference room murals, I absolutely love working with my hands… I also have an MBA!


Another Big Success for Our Holiday Adopt a Family Program!

We understand that the holiday season can be somewhat of a stressful time especially if there’s some financial instability. That is why each year during the holiday season, our agency participates in its Adopt a Family program, where individuals and local businesses can make a donation, gifts or gift cards, for our participants and their families. We always encourage folks to donate gift cards so that participants can have the opportunity to pick something for themselves or their children but that does not mean that we do not welcome gifts!

Just like past years, this year was another success!! The Adopt a Family program received over $1,000 in the form of gift cards, and some amazing gifts as well that ranged from: droids, books, make-up, scarves, baby toys, etc. The Adopt a Family program always brings smiles to our participants who are struggling in so many different levels.  One participant said that she “is always thankful during the holiday season for this program because she is able to give her sons christmas gifts and that always brings a smile to her face.”

W.O.M.A.N. Inc.; would like to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has made Adopt a Family possible. A very special thank you to Cole Hardware for their consistent support & for collecting Adopt a Family donations at their stores this year. Because of all your kind donations, you were able to give survivors of domestic violence and their families some added joy this holiday season.

We would like to encourage folks to make a donation next Adopt a Family, to continue to put a smile on a families’ face during the holiday season! Let us all spread the joy 🙂 Thank you.

~ Adilia Preciado, Echando Pa’lante Coordinator