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.

Continue reading


Meet, Stephanie, Our New Latinx Program Co-Manager!


Please join us in welcoming Stephanie Colorado to the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team in her new role as Latinx Program Co-Manager! Stephanie has been connected with us for quite some time now, and we are so excited to have her back as a core member of our team. Keep reading to learn more about her experience with us and the larger anti-violence movement:

Stephanie started out as a volunteer with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in the summer of 2012 and has worked with survivors of domestic violence ever since.  She also is a Sexual Assault 10532463_10101091247198778_1536387025699013486_nCounselor at San Francisco Women Against Rape, where she worked as a Survivor Advocate supporting survivors of sexual violence.  She is now working as the Latina Program Co-Manager offering in-depth case management to Spanish-speaking survivors.


Stephanie comenzó como voluntaria con W.O.M.A.N., Inc. en el verano de 2012 y ha trabajado con sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica desde entonces. También es Consejera de Asalto Sexual con Mujeres Contra la Violación Sexual de San Francisco, donde trabajó con sobrevivientes de violencia sexual. Ahora trabaja como Co-Directora del Programa Latina ofreciendo manejo de casos a profundidad para sobrevivientes.

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

Sobreviviente | Survivor Story


 Client: Sandra H. *name was changed, request of survivor

(Scroll down for English translation)

1) Por cuanto tiempo estabas en una relación abusiva?
Nunca me di cuenta de lo que me estaba pasando. No tenía idea que estaba en una relación abusiva. No sabia que lo que él me estaba haciendo era violencia doméstica. Yo, en mi país, viví violencia doméstica por eso yo siempre pensé que porque había violencia física era violencia doméstica. Por eso en mi nueva relación pase 2 años sin saber que lo que él estaba haciendo era abuso.

2) Qué fue lo que te hizo dar cuenta que querías ayuda para sanar de lo que te paso?
Yo estaba platicando con una amiga de mi iglesia y le comentaba que yo tenía mucho miedo y estaba muy triste. Es cuando ella me comento de unas platicas que hacen en el Consulado Mexicano sobre la prevención de violencia a la mujer. Cuando yo fui al consulado conocí a la coordinadora del programa y ella me dijo “Lo que te esta pasando suena como violencia doméstica. Por qué no te conectas con W.O.M.A.N.; inc, ahí te pueden ayudar.” Ya estaba cansada de sentir tanto miedo que sabía que ya era tiempo de buscar ayuda. No sabía de lo que me estaba pasando, solo sabía que no era correcto.

3) Cómo fue tu proceso de sanar? Tuvisteis algunos momentos en que pensaste “si voy a estar bien”?
Viniendo aquí a W.O.M.A.N., Inc. me ayudo mucho. Me ayudaron a conectarme con agencias que me apoyaron mucho para dejar a mi esposo. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. también me conecto con terapia y eso a sido un gran apoyo. Con la ayuda de mi terapeuta empecé a ver la situación como era, una de violencia doméstica.

4) Como te ha inspirado W.O.M.A.N., Inc.? Como te ha ayudado W.O.M.A.N.,  Inc. en tu proceso de sanar?
WI me ha inspirado a ser fuerte. Creo que por mucho tiempo se me olvido como hacer fuerte y W.O.M.A.N., Inc. me ayudó a reencontrar mi fuerza. Aprendí de las diferentes formas de abuso y esto me ayudo mucho con mi proceso de sanar. Se que mi proceso de sanar va ser largo, pero también se que no estoy sola.

5) Que es tu cosa favorita de participar en W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
Creo que esto tiene que ser todo el apoyo que e recibido aquí en W.O.M.A.N., Inc.. Todos quien e conocido han estado conmigo cada paso que he dado. Me siento parte de la agencia.

6) Algo más que quieras compartir? Algo divertido de ti? Algunas palabras de sabiduría o pensamientos para la comunidad de W.O.M.A.N., Inc. (personal, voluntarios, participantes etc)?
Creo que le diría a esta gente que no tengan miedo de buscar apoyo, que hay gente y agencias que quiere ayudarle. Solo tienen que hacer el primer paso.


1) How long were you in an abusive relationship?

I did not really realize what I was getting into. I had no idea that I was in an abusive relationship. I did not know that what he was doing to me was called domestic violence. I had experienced domestic violence in my country before this relationship but I always thought that because it was physical abuse was what made it domestic violence. So in my new relationship it was 2 years not knowing that what he was doing was abuse.

2) What made you realize you wanted to reach out & heal from what happened to you?

I was talking to a friend from church about how scared and unhappy I was and she was the one that told me to go to the Mexican Consulate because they do presentations on
Women’s violence prevention. When I went there I met the woman that coordinates these presentations with outside agencies and she told me “you know what is happening to you sounds like domestic violence, you should go talk to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and see how they can support you.” I was tired of always being afraid so I knew that it was time to get help. Except I didn’t really know what was happening, I just knew it was not right.

3) What was the healing process like for you? Did you have any epiphanies (or ‘ah ha’ moments)? Was there a specific point in the process where you thought, ‘hey, I really am going to be okay’?

Coming to W.O.M.A.N., Inc really helped me. I was able to get connected with outside agencies that helped support me to leave my husband. W.O.M.A.N., Inc also connected me with therapy and this was a huge help. With the help of my therapist I began to see things clearly and really see my situation for what it was, domestic violence.

4) How has W.O.M.A.N. Inc., inspired or empowered you? How has W.O.M.A.N. Inc., helped in your healing process?

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has inspired me to be strong. I had forgotten how to be strong but W.O.M.A.N., Inc. helped me rediscover my strength. I was able to learn about the different forms of abuse and this helped my healing process. I know that it will take a lot of time to heal from this but I know that I am not alone.

5) What is your favorite thing about participating at W.O.M.A.N. Inc.,?

I think it would have to be all the great support that I have received from the agency. Everyone that I have interacted with has really been there for me every step of the way. I feel cared for and a part of the agency.

6) Anything else you would like to share? A fun fact about yourself? Some words of wisdom or thoughts for the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Community (staff, volunteers, supporters, participants etc.)?

I think that I would like to tell people who are afraid of reaching out for support to not be afraid, that there are agencies and people out there that can and want to help. All it takes is making that first step and connecting with people. If I didn’t talk to my friend from church I would have never found the help I wanted.