We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Francisco Victim Advocacy Coalition (SFVAC)

We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Francisco Victim Advocacy Coalition (SFVAC) with the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic (CROC)San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) and W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
Creating a ‘no wrong door approach’, the San Francisco Victim Advocacy Coalition has come together to offer a holistic approach to helping survivors of sexual abuse and assault, domestic violence and stalking.
      
Coming to any one of the SF VAC organizations connects survivors with compassionate and confidential support. This includes legal representation in criminal and civil cases, as well as legal advice and information for survivors. In addition, this holistic program answers to issues commonly related to surviving sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. The coalition is able to assist our clients with issues stemming from abuse, such as housing rights, eviction defense, spousal support, public benefits, income security, debt, child custody, medical needs, immigration, etc., connecting survivors with the best suited program at the Justice & Diversity Center.

In addition to holistic legal services, the coalition offers a spectrum of emotional support to survivors engaged in legal services at JDC or CROC. Survivor advocates at W.O.M.A.N., Inc and SFWAR accompany survivors to court to provide emotional support. Ongoing counseling services, advocacy, and other supportive services are provided in a collaborative effort to fully answer to the needs of survivors.

As a part of this collaborative effort, CROC will also provide legal advice, information, and representation in Title IX sexual assault, stalking and domestic violence matters. Working closely with UCSF, CROC provides outreach, ensuring students and faculty are aware of these services.

For more information please call the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. 24/7 Support Line at (415)864-4722.

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W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Hybrid Domestic Violence Training

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has modernized the way we offer our 40 hours domestic violence training. In December 2015, we received a grant from The Joseph and Vera Long Foundation to help develop a hybrid training that combines the use of online modules paired with intentional in person gatherings. After surveying multiple organizations throughout California W.O.M.A.N., Inc. decided to revamp the way we train our volunteers and community members. The traditional style of training required participants to attend up to ten in person session, many of them lecture based. Because of the required in person sessions, many volunteers were unable to make the commitment.

Using videos, quizzes, discussion forums and articles, each module covers the same content from the traditional training such as DV 101, Supporting LGBTQ Survivors, to Legal sections and Transformative Justice. The modules are broken up into several sections. Participants are given two weeks in between our in person gatherings to complete their modules therefore allowing participants the ease and flexibility to complete the modules at their own pace. The beauty of the online modules has also allowed us more time to talk about social justice and intersectionality. In doing so, we are able to be intentional about centering the experiences of survivors from marginalized communities.

While the in-person sessions are still required for training completion, we’ve cut our in-person time down to 4 in-person sessions, meeting on alternating weeks. Once participants complete their online modules, they come to each session ready to engage in discussion and activities on the topics covered in the modules. Agency representatives from the community also help facilitate portions of training to sharing their insight and expertise. Having participants complete the content portion of training prior to in-person sessions allows for more in-depth discussion on how to apply the knowledge they’ve gained on supporting survivors from various backgrounds. The hybrid training allows time for more skill building and practice while also being more culturally sensitive. Having the ability to cater to the various styles of adult learning provides each training participant has the opportunity to learn at their own pace and expand on their knowledge, skills, and understanding of how to support survivors of domestic violence.

The hybrid approach has proven to be a successful one for us. We recently received a grant which enabled us to translate all our online modules into Spanish. In the coming year, our goal is to further develop these materials and offer our first hybrid training in Spanish. We are currently seeking additional support in achieving this goal.

Below are a few testimonials from recent Hybrid Training graduates:

“The hybrid training offered by W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was a unique opportunity to learn about domestic violence. Combining individual modules to read at home with in person meetings, gave me the space to learn on my own and process everything then the space to discuss and reflect and form thoughts and concerns in a safe space, where everyone is heard. It’s a very efficient way to check privilege and assumptions. Another strong point of this training is getting to meet people from the domestic violence community. People who work in different programs that support survivors from shelters around the Bay Area, are in a unique position to give anyone who wants to work with survivors a picture of how it really looks like. It also gives a very realistic image about the life of survivors. A great insight that helps understand more about the community and bust a lot of myths surrounding domestic violence. I am grateful and thankful to have gone through this training. I feel I learned a lot and I can’t wait for learn more.”
– Ebtihal (Fall 2017)
“The hybrid training clearly illustrated the dynamics of domestic violence and the power and control techniques used by the abusers.  The training’s history was informative and enlightening for me. From the rule of thumb chastisement law whereby husbands could discipline and beat their wives; to the American history of oppression embedded in violence against women, against Native Americans and against other people of color or people who were different; to the unfair criminal, legal and prison systems of America today that perpetuate violence particularly when dealing with survivors who are people of color, LGBTQ or just different. All forms of DV and abuse was clearly and thoroughly reviewed as well as prejudices, sexism, racism and other oppressions. I was most impressed with how respectful the training was toward DV survivors, stressing meeting them where they are at, without making assumptions but treating all survivors with respect, dignity, showing compassion and mindfulness at all times regardless of preferences and differences. We are all humans and we all deserve to be treated as such. This training changed my perspective on many things, the lessons made me think about life in general and has made me a better person.”
– Zalise  (Summer 2017)

Interested in volunteering with us? Need to complete 40 hours of domestic violence training for work? Or would you just like to take the training for personal interest? Take a look at our volunteer opportunities here & fill out an application here*.

Don’t have time to volunteer, but want to support this work? Please consider making a small contribution today.

*Volunteer applications for our next training cycle are due Monday, January 8th, 2018.

2017 W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Annual Report

On behalf of the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board of Directors, welcome to our Annual Report!  

The following pages tell our story in 2017 – the year of our 40th birthday as an agency, and the year our Executive Director celebrated her 20th year in the field, her 10th year with us, and her 5th year as our dedicated leader. We celebrated at Galería de la Raza with our inaugural “Dismantling & Rebuilding” event, an evening of coming together as a community of advocates, program participants, donors, volunteers, and friends, andreflecting on Audre Lorde’s powerful observation that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

Our house at 26 Boardman Place – the home our staff create every day for ourparticipants and their families – sits on a strong foundation of intersectionality and inclusion. We stand with each other, to stand against divisiveness and polarization in our political discourse, as well as senseless violence in places like Las Vegas, New York, and most recently Texas. We stand together to acknowledge that so much brutality in the wider world begins at home, with disempowering domestic relationships and dangerous dynamics of power and control that have exponentially tragic effects across communities.

This reality makes our work more urgent than ever, and our most valuable resource – our people – are up for the challenge of “dismantling and rebuilding” better, more inclusive systems and institutions. Our six core staff members manage a passionate, well-trained pool of over 50 volunteers who are the living embodiment of Margaret Mead’s “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens.” They change the world with the cumulative power of their presence – on support line shifts, in legal meetings, and wherever else a program participant needs support to rebuild an empowered life.

In 2017, on the abundant energy of our staff and volunteers, we’ve fielded more than 9,000 support line calls; managed 20,000 contacts on our online information and referral portal; provided 200 participants with therapeutic support; built up our Latinx Program with a 50-person membership; and deployed over 1,000 hours of training and outreach to scale our services. It’s a low-cost, high-yield model, and our Board of Directors is proud to partner with our capable and dynamic leadership team.

And to you, our readers, we extend our warmest thanks for taking a stake in our work and for caring about our participants and their families as they break the cycle of violence and build healthy, self-determined lives in 2017 and beyond. As you review our work and our outcomes – particularly, the programmatic returns we’ve generated with careful financial management – we urge you to make a gift supporting this important work.

Mary Kate Bacalao, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board President

 

 

 

Thank You Verizon Hopeline for Supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Outreach & Education Program!

This October, as with every year, we celebrate and honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As a part of this celebration, we step up our community education and outreach efforts. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. sees this aspect of the work as critical; not only does it inform survivors, their family and their friends of our services, but it can help prevent violence from happening. One of our goals is to help our guests identify unhealthy behaviors that they may be experiencing or enacting themselves in their relationships.

Another goal is to support survivor’s healing through helping others experiencing domestic violence. We are honored to call on an amazing group of past program participants to infuse our educational efforts with their own stories. These women, all monolingual Spanish speaking survivors of domestic violence, formed a group they call Echando Pa’lante (translating to Moving Forward). After graduating from a counselor training, they have become W.O.M.A.N., Inc ambassadors providing not only outreach, but also support group facilitation and crisis counseling. One of these women, Laura, helped San Francisco kick-off domestic violence awareness month by sharing some her story of healing at city hall. An excerpt of her speech can be found below:

As a survivor, I formed part of the group Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward), which has given me tools and the necessary training to support other women. I want to use that bad experience (with domestic violence), for positive things and make it reach many places. Through the outreach that we do, I am an example that “SI SE PUEDE”. I am a stronger person, with a free soul, I know how to say no to things that I do not like, and I love myself.  

HopeLine

Ensuring we create spaces for women like Laura to share her story is of great importance to our work. As you can imagine, this work involves much coordinating, training and connection within the community; support from others invested in serving survivors and preventing domestic violence is crucial. This is just one reason we are so fortunate and thankful for the support of key funders of our outreach program. We are thrilled to share that we recently received support from a Verizon HopeLine to continue this vital outreach. Their support means we will be able to provide more hours of outreach this year, engaging not only with adults but with young folks as well. Many thanks to Verizon HopeLine for their continued investment to support this work.

Interested in having W.O.M.A.N., Inc. provide a presentation for your school, community gathering or organization? Follow this link: to request a presentation today!

 

We believe you.

We were very honored to be invited to KGO 810 to talk about WOMAN Inc during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Thank you to the station and to Ronn Owens for allowing us access to your platform; we connected with your listeners and hope some folks listening needed to hear about our organization.

Unfortunately, we weren’t present during the conversation about George H.W. Bush and the recent accusations of sexual harassment made against him; we wish we could have been there to join in and share our thoughts.

Nevertheless, we want to be sure that our community understands our stance on sexual harassment. Our stance is rather simple: Sexual harassment (including but not limited to unwanted touching, taunting, advances, threats, intimidation, inappropriate sexual jokes, or unwanted remarks on a woman’s physical appearance) is never OK. Never.

By definition, sexual harassment flies in the face of consent. There are no false equivalencies that can be drawn to water down the shame a perpetrator should feel after making unsolicited, unwelcome advances toward women. It can not be explained away, minimized or ignored–regardless of the perpetrator’s physical abilities (or lack thereof), age, position of authority or status. In other words, you don’t get a pass, (former) President Bush. Neither does anyone else.

When someone perpetrates sexual harassment they are gaining power and control, much like when someone uses abuse in their relationship. It isn’t OK. It dehumanizes the victim. Women are not game pieces to be played in brokering power moves. Women are not trophies for men who desperately need to feel powerful, for weak men who don’t like the word NO. Women are not conquests. Women are people with agency and rights. Treat us accordingly.

Finally, we want to center, in this case, women sharing their stories. They are not easy stories to tell, they aren’t always safe stories to tell, they are stories that can detrimental to tell. And yet, there is freedom in letting go of someone else’s secret. The men are responsible for their harassment. Our hope is that the #metoo movement (thank you Tarana Burke who created the hashtag 10 years ago!) will continue to help victims–survivors–to let that shame and isolation go.

We believe you. We stand with you. We hear you. We see you. We honor you.

Grupo de Apoyo Facilitado por Las Pioneras

Este grupo ofrece un espacio seguro para que participantes aprendan de los varios temas de violencia doméstica incluyendo temas acerca de los mitos y realidades sobre la violencia doméstica, tipos de abuso, relaciones saludables y otros temas. Este grupo estará abierto para cualquier persona que ha sido afectado por la violencia doméstica. Será facilitado por Las Pioneras, quienes fueron participantes del Programa Latinx y co-creadoras del Programa Echando Pa’lante de W.O.M.A.N., Inc.

COMIENZA: JUEVES 2 DE NOVIEMBRE, 2017
ESTE GROUP SE REÚNE LOS JUEVES POR 8 SESIONES EN LAS SIGUIENTES FECHAS
(11/02, 11/09, 11/16, 12/07, 12/14, 01/11, 01/18)

Proyecto para el grupo de apoyo a sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica

Semana

Tema

Fecha

1

W.O.M.A.N Inc / Servicios

Nov 2

2

Violencia Doméstica

Nov 9

3

Tipos de Abuso

Nov 16

4

Mitos y Realidades

Dec 7

5

Sistema Sexo-Género

Dec 14

6

Relaciones Saludables

Dec 21

7

Y Ahora que voy a hacer?

Jan 11

8

Recursos  de otras agencias

Jan 18

Horario: 5:30 pm – 7:00pm

Dónde?: Oficina de W.O.M.A.N., Inc. 26 Boardman Place, San Francisco. (Entre calles Bryant y Brannan)

¿Preguntas? Llame a 415-969-6831

Favor de llamar para cuidado de niños

Otra Información:

Favor de llegar a tiempo. Las facilitadores no podrán abrir la puerta a personas que llegan más de 15 minutos tarde.

Si le preocupa su seguridad al asistir al grupo, por favor sepa que estamos aquí para ayudar con un plan de seguridad.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kick-Off at City Hall

Kicking off Domestic Violence Awareness Month at City Hall yesterday! W.O.M.A.N, Inc. got to speak alongside leaders, advocates, and community members.

 

If folks missed the kick-off, we’d like to share Laura’s (a founding member of our Echando Pa’lante Program) speech about her experience w/ WINC below:
“Hace algunos años , viví una de las peores experiencia de mi vida, que fue la Violencia Doméstica. Viví en carne propia todos los tipos de abuso, desde psicológico, físico, económico, y sexual. Mi vida era un desastre, no encontraba una razón para vivir. Me sentía culpable por haber dejado a mis hijos en México, ya que como otras mujeres emigre a los Estados Unidos en busca de una mejor vida, pero las cosas no eran lo que yo creía. No tuve una, sino 2 relaciones abusivas, y fue hasta que estuve a punto de morir en manos de mi agresor que fue lo que me hizo reaccionar, así fue como llegue a W.O.M.A.N., Inc, aproximadamente en el 2007 y así logre salir adelante. Ya como sobreviviente, forme parte del grupo Echando Pa’lante, el cual me ha dado las herramientas y el entrenamiento necesario para poder ayudar a otras mujeres. Quiero usar esa mala experiencia en cosas positivas y hacerla llegar a muchos lugares. A través del alcance que realizamos, yo soy un ejemplo de que SI SE PUEDE. Ahora soy una persona fuerte, con una alma libre, se decir no a lo que no me gusta, y me quiero a mi misma. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. ha estado a mi lado en los peores momentos de mi vida, pero también en mis logros. Nunca terminaré de agradecer lo que W.O.M.A.N., Inc. ha hecho por mi. GRACIAS!”
English transcript below —————————-

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