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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Announcing Evening Drop-In Support Hours (Starting February 8th, 2017)

W.O.M.A.N, Inc. is  pleased to announce that we will be offering an additional window of drop-in hours on Wednesday evenings. We hope that this may help to make our services accessible to folks who are unable to attend daytime hours.
11:00AM – 12:30PM
5:00PM – 6:30PM (NEW)
2:00PM – 3:30PM

During drop-in support times, survivors of domestic violence, their friends and/or their family members can meet with a trained advocate for in-person support. In this meeting, we provide peer counseling, safety planning, and referrals. Additionally, survivors, their friends and/or family can learn more about W.O.M.A.N., Inc. services such as our peer support groups, Latinx Program, and therapy.

Drop-in support sessions are offered in English and Spanish.

To learn more, please visit our website at www.womaninc.org/support
For immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 Support Line at (415)864-4722

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. tiene el placer de anunciar una ventana adicional de horas de apoyo los Miércoles por la noche. Esperamos que esto ayude hacer que nuestros servicios sean más accesibles a las personas que no puedan asistir durante el día.

Empezando Miércoles, Febrero, 8 2017

Nuestras horas de apoyo serán las siguientes:

11:00 AM- 12:30PM
5:00 PM- 6:30PM (NUEVO)

2:00PM – 3:30PM


Horas de apoyo serán ofrecidas en Ingles y Español.

Para más información, por favor visite http://www.womaninc.org/support

Para asistencia inmediata, por favor llame a nuestra 24/7 línea de apoyo (415)864- 4722

2016 W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Annual Report

As the year comes to close, we are pleased to share with you our 2016 Annual Report. This report lays out our numerous accomplishments, our financial status, tells the story of a volunteer, board member and of a program participant and finally, how you can support our organization. I hope you will find the report is enlightening and inspiring.

Thank you for being a part of our community. Happy Holidays to you and yours.


Jill Zawisza
Executive Director
W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
2016 ANNUAL REPORT-page-001.jpg
Graphic Design: Noel Capapas

Program Highlight: Echando Pa’lante

Echando Pa’lante (EPL), which translates to “Moving Forward”,started out as a support group for monolingual Spanish speakers.. It was born out of a group of survivors who were no longer in crisis but still needed resources to help them beyond their domestic violence situation. They also wanted to keep a connection to the agency. This group would meet once a month with various topics that would range Sucesses_Echando P'alante.jpgfrom yoga sessions, art activities, and presentations from outside agencies.

EPL is continues to meet once a month but participants felt like they needed to do more to give back to the agency that helped them so much.  As a result of this, the EPL Leadership training took flight. In this process of becoming trained domestic violence advocates, members gained skills in the following areas: outreach, facilitating art based support groups, peer counseling, domestic violence prevention education, and the 40 hour domestic violence training.
EPL 2.jpeg

Echando Pa’lante has grown so much and will continue to expand and grow. In the long run, EPL member’s hopes are to expand the training and spread awareness about domestic violence to their community in hopes that one day there will be no more violence.

Adilia Preciado, Echando Pa’lante Coordinator

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.


Echando Pa’lante Survivor Empowerment Group – Together, we flourish!

By Stephanie Colorado, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latina Program Support Assistant

During the month of October, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s survivor empowerment group, Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward) worked once per week on a piece of art to donate to the Surviving and Thriving Event.  The ladies were very happy to come to extra meetings an1001d stay well after the meeting time, in order to create a work of art that was inspiring for them.  Our MFT Intern, Daniel, co-facilitated the art group to help the ladies see what their inner strengths and inspirations were. The ladies engaged in retelling their story of surviving an abusive relationship and how they all now feel very supported and grounded in the present lives. One of the ladies shared that being a part of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was one of the biggest support system she had come across. She felt grateful to have our agency’s support.


Latina Program Manager, Paola Souto, getting her feet into the art action.

 After some discussion, the ladies began brainstorming their vision for their artwork.  What they had in mind included showing people their pathway to recovery.  When they heard the word pathway, footprints came to mind.  Without hesitation the woman took off their shoes and started creating a pathway of footprints in different colors and designs. The room was filled with laughter and joy as each woman literally left their footprint in the work of art.  They added the phrase “Dar Un Paso Con Responsabilidad” meaning “Give a step with responsibility.”  Another phrase that was added to the artwork included “Los Pasos que damos deven de ser con seguridad” meaning the “Steps we take must be taken with security” as well as “Adelante de cada paso vamas a encontrar una luz” meaning “Ahead of each step you will find a light.” These inspirational quotes came from the women themselves which they wished to share with others through their art.


MFT Intern, Daniel, helping Echando Pa’lante member in creating a sun out of handprints.

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Echando Pa’lante artwork being displayed at Surviving & Thriving.

The women were then inspired to have the footprints lead to something positive.  They came to the conclusion that a bright sun would be appropriate since they their dark path are behind them. They created the sun out of their own handprints, making a circle signifying their relationship with each other and their support for one another.  In the middle of the sun they wrote the phrase “Echando Pa’ Lante” which translates to “Moving Forward,” the name of their support group.

The art was collected and showcased at Surviving and Thriving, an fundraising event that took place on Friday, October 3rd to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and the San Francisco Women Against Rape.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Presents the DVIRC to San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women

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.