Many of the survivors who reach out to us fear their domestic violence situation may cost them their job(s). Sometimes it’s because the person that is harming them shows up at their workplace or uses other means to sabotage the survivor’s job security. Sometimes survivors feel they must choose between seeking confidential shelter out of their area and keeping their job. And, sometimes, trauma just really takes mental and physical tolls on our bodies. What many folks do not know is that, in California, there are legal employment protections for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. While these laws have been around, there has previously been little done to ensure that employees are informed of their rights around these issues.
Effective July 1, 2017, employers (who have 25+ employees) are required to provide written documentation to workers notifying of their rights should they ever experience domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking. As noted in the California Workplace Law Blog,
This includes notifying employees that are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that they may take time off from work to (1) seek medical attention for injuries; (2) obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center; (3) obtain psychological counseling; or (4) participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety, including temporary or permanent relocation. Employers are prohibited from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee because of the employee’s known status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking or for taking domestic violence leave.
These protections (and letting survivors know of these protections) are very important in increasing survivor safety.
Domestic violence impacts all of us.
Many survivors reach out to friends and family for support before they call a domestic violence hotline, or call the police. We all want to support someone we care about; we want to see them happy and safe. So, when someone we love is being harmed, it’s natural to feel at a loss on how to help.
As community members, we have the potential to impact change. If we can come together and offer support based on what survivors ask for, we can send a message that they are deserving of our help, that the abuse isn’t their fault, and that they shouldn’t have to suffer at the hands of someone who claims to love them. If we can ban together and support survivors, while questioning abusive behavior, we will send the overriding message that abuse doesn’t belong in our community–our circle of friends, our families, our workplaces or our homes.
Please join the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Outreach Team at a free workshop apart of our Community Education Series. This session will focus on what we as family, friends and community members can do to support survivors of domestic violence, as well as what resources are available for all involved.
When: Wednesday, May 17 at 6:00PM
Where: SF Public Library, Bayview (5075 3rd Street)
RSVP on Facebook/Invite your friends here.
Questions? Please call Alicia at (415)969-6802
Learn more about our Education & Outreach program as well as other ways to get involved at our website: www.womaninc.org/education.
Want to support our programs? People like you are a HUGE reason we can provide our workshops regularly & free of charge. Please consider donating at www.womaninc.org/donate.
On March 2nd, we visited San Francisco State University’s Beta Phi Sorority to talk about how friends and family of survivors can navigate disclosures of abuse. We opened the discussion by engaging the group an activity that highlighted the importance and value of community support for survivors of domestic violence. This activity set the tone for the rest of the presentation and provided a visual for participants to 1) see the role that isolation plays in abusive relationships and 2)how crucial a support system is for a survivor. From there, we established the definition of DV with the group and identified some dynamics present in an abusive relationship. With that foundational knowledge, the group explored how to recognize and describe some warning signs that a friend or family member might be experiencing or might be at risk for abuse. The rest of the presentation brought forth some skills participants could use to care for and safety plan not just for the survivors they are supporting, but for themselves as well.
The Beta Phi Sorority members exchanged insightful and engaging dialogue with us about how someone’s cultural values and beliefs might impact the way a survivor handles domestic violence as well as addressing some barriers folks might have reaching out for help. We closed the discussion with highlighting the importance of seeing survivors as whole people with intersecting identities and experiences. When supporting DV survivors, it’s important to know that they are not defined by their crisis and that their experience with domestic violence is a small piece of a larger story.
Many thanks to the Beta Phi Sorority sisters for inviting W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to their “Breaking the Silence” event and for sharing their thoughtful perspectives!
~Stephanie, Latinx Program Co-Manager & Shaena, Program Assistant
- Knowledge is power! Educate yourself about healthy and unhealthy relationships.Learn about the additional barriers people from different communities face when experiencing domestic violence. Challenge traditional ideas of domestic violence & squash misconceptions. Read about how different patterns of violence intersect with one another. Spread that knowledge around!
- Wear purple, the domestic violence awareness color. Show your support by adding some purple to your ensembles this October.
- If you’re interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.:
- Allstate’s Purple Purse Challenge! We are excited to be selected to participate in this annual event, a nation-wide fundraiser to raise awareness of financial abuse & to promote economic empowerment. We have a chance to win $100,000 and would love to garner your support in our cause. Click here to find out how you can get involved.
- Contribute to our Pet Fund! Anyone who donates $25+ to the Pet Fund will receive a 2017 W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Pet Calendar
- We are amongst a plethora of bay area anti-violence agencies. Find one you support, and contribute to the cause. Any little bit helps.
4. Attend an event near you! Domestic violence agencies from all around the country will be hosting events to honor DV awareness month. Participating in one is an easy way to be apart of the movement.
5. Contact a local domestic violence agency to learn more about domestic violence and what you can do to help.
- Interested in getting involved? Check out our volunteer opportunities!
- Engage. Educate. Empower! W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is offering a free workshop on how to support survivors of domestic violence.
6. Talk about it! Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations about domestic violence awareness. With that said, part of being a good ally is to do your best to exercise non-judgmental love and support. If someone opens up to you about their experience with abuse, actively listen and believe the survivor when they are brave enough to speak their truth. Here are some tips on disclosure to keep in mind when dealing with those experiencing domestic violence:
7. Take action on social media! The internet is FULL of stuff to get involved with. Share with your networks why you’re standing up against DV this month, start/participate in awareness campaigns (Examples: SurvivedAndPunished, NoMore, CPEDV Calendar, #SeeDV). So many ways to show your support just from your computer at home.
Remember, domestic violence is a community issue. You can have a role in ending domestic violence. Learn more about ways you can help:
If you feel you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse, please feel free to give our support line a call at (415)864-4722. We are here for you 24/7.
www.womaninc.org | womaninc.wordpress.com
It’s that time of year again! Looking for animal friends to star in our annual W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Pet Calendar! If you’re unfamiliar with the history behind our Pet Calendar, you may be thinking “Okay. This is cute, but what is the relevance? Where do animals come into play when we’re talking about domestic violence?” Reasonable questions, here’s some context:
In addition to raising awareness for the correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse, we want to celebrate the therapeutic powers animals provide us during times of both struggle and healing. How has your pet impacted YOUR life? Whether your pet has helped you through hardship or you just want to share with the community about the joy your animal friend has brought to your life, we invite you to share what you’d like with us! Please submit a picture (no specific size requirements, we just ask that it is a clear photo) of your pet with a short blurb (~25 – 75 words) on what they mean to you to email@example.com by Monday, November 28th. Be sure to include your name (unless you wish to remain anonymous; if that is the case please indicate so) and your pet(s) name(s). Feel free to get creative! Short stories, love letters or simple odes of appreciation all encouraged.
Owning a pet and experiencing domestic violence adds an additional layer of complexity to the situation. The abusive partner may withhold money to pay for the animal’s food and water. When attempting to leave, a survivor might be denied housing and/or shelter access because the location does not accommodate pets. We have a fund that hopes to address some of these issues. The proceeds from our pet calendar sales will go back our Pet Fund which helps with food/water costs, kennel stays and more for pets whose humans have experienced domestic violence.
Check out previous submissions on our Facebook: 2015, 2016