WOMEN~SV: The Year in Review
Short term: To raise awareness about domestic violence in affluent communities, and to offer resources to victims locally to help them deal with domestic violence more safely and effectively.
Long term: to work towards social change, spreading the influence of the WOMEN~SV program worldwide so that in every affluent community there are resources to support women and children impacted by domestic violence.
1) None of this work would be possible without the support of the Los Altos Community Foundation. WOMEN~SV was awarded its first grant in Feb 2012. WOMEN~SV is now an official program of LACF and has received $20,000 in grants so far.
2) All the members and interested parties of the WOMEN~SV LEG&L Team who generously offer their advice, guidance, support—and time!
3) Licensed clinical psychologist Paul Marcille, Ph.D, Director of the Undergraduate Studies Department at Palo Alto University and past president of the Santa Clara County Psychological Association. Paul acts as Ruth’s Supervisor ensuring that she stays within the confines of her role as a domestic violence consultant, offering information, resources, and support (versus therapy).
4) Signe Correa for co-facilitating the weekly support group, for donating her time and resources so generously, and for her support at the LEG&L Team meetings!
Accomplishments and Activities
To date, WOMEN~SV has provided services to 73 women and 3 men in our local community who are experiencing the impact of domestic violence.
Santa Clara County Psychological Association has chosen WOMEN-SV for their 2013 Outstanding Community Service Award.
WOMEN~SV is now listed as a resource in the Appendix of the annual Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council Death Review Report (DVDRC 2012 report, page 26).
Funding to further the mission of WOMEN~SV has been used for:
1) Individual client support
Since its official launch in March of 2012, WOMEN~SV has worked with 53 local clients (50 women and 3 men) offering information, resources, and support through:
- a telephone helpline
- office visits (office space donated by a psychologist who supports the mission of WOMEN~SV)
- court accompaniment
- police station accompaniment
- referrals to competent lawyers, therapists, and parenting coaches who are trained in the dynamics of domestic violence.
Sources of client referrals: The Los Altos Town Crier, the Los Altos Patch, churches, the Los Altos Police Department, CHAC, Department of Family Court Services, Deborah’s Palm, psychologists, word-of-mouth, other clients.
2) Weekly support group
Twenty members include doctors, bankers, engineers, professors, psychologists, stay-at-home moms. Attendance varies: 3-6 members of the 20 at any given meeting. Support group has 3 components: education, sharing, and support/validation. WOMEN~SV’s curriculum (Domestic Violence 101) is designed to educate women about: 1) the many forms that domestic violence takes with particular emphasis on financial and emotional abuse; 2) red flags; 3) safety planning; 4) tactics used by affluent abusers at home and in the legal arena; 5) the effects of domestic violence on women and children, etc.
3) A directory of resources
Part one: precautions and suggestions for planning a strategy (ex: safety planning, considerations in finding a attorney and therapist with training in DV, etc.)
Part two: a directory of providers and contact numbers for safety planning, counseling, legal representation, social services, etc.
Part three: a directory of educational and reference materials and online resources
4) A website which includes an online interactive version of the WOMEN~SV directory, as well as information and articles about domestic violence: www.losaltoscf.org/womensv
5) A monthly column for the Los Altos Town Crier; WOMEN~SV has recently also been invited to contribute regularly to the Los Altos Patch
Samples of articles:
6) A collaborative event organized with several other women’s groups to recognize One Billion Rising Day. People shared songs, poems, and spoke from the heart about what healthy love looks like. The event drew 50 participants and was so successful that the venue’s owner has invited WOMEN~SV back next year to do it again. The event was covered by the Los Altos Town Crier and Los Altos Patch. Article and short video clip from the Patch:
7) Trainings for:
- YWCA’s Domestic Violence Program Staff
- Community Health Awareness Council’s Ph.D. and MFT interns in Mountain View
- Palo Alto University Gronowoski Clinic’s Psy.D. and Ph.D. students
- Tulare County Bar Association judges and attorneys for Continuing Education Units
- Santa Clara University Counseling Psychology students
- Unity Church Prayer Chaplains
- Santa Clara County Psychological Association: A 5 hour training for psychologists (Sat. April 20) for Continuing Education Units
- Community Health Awareness Council in Mountain View: Second training for Ph.D. and MFT interns (Thursday April 25)
8) Interviews with
The Los Altos Town Crier
Los Altos Patch
American Association of University Women
9) Presentations to:
- Los Altos Rotary Club
- Los Altos City Council
- Deborah’s Palm Resource Center
- Divorce and Relationship Recovery Workshop at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
- Project LEAD in Los Altos
10) Consults for other therapists (clinical psychologists and MFT’s) on domestic-violence related cases
11) Committees to promote social policy change
- Joined the Batterers Intervention Program (BIP) Committee to raise awareness about domestic violence in the affluent community
- Joined the Batterers Intervention Program Curriculum Committee which is revising the BIP facilitator training. WOMEN~SV’s proposal to contribute a unit on the affluent abuser has been accepted.
- Attended monthly meetings of Forensics Committee to raise awareness about domestic violence in the affluent community
- Attended monthly meetings of Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council to raise awareness about domestic violence in the affluent community
12) Collaboration between neighboring agencies and officials:
- Coordinated a meeting with Executive Director Melissa Lukin and Program Director Cori Manthorne of San Mateo County’s Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) and the Executive Director of YWCA’s domestic violence program Adriana Caldera to discuss domestic violence in the affluent community and ways to share resources and build closer ties between the two counties
- Met with the following local representatives to build a stronger network of support at the local and state level:
1) Anna Eshoo’s representative Christine Padilla in Palo Alto; received a personal letter of praise and support from congresswoman Anna Eshoo
2) Jim Beall and his representative Frances Herbert
3) Supervisor Joe Simitian
4) Assemblyman Rich Gordon
5) Senator Jerry Hill
- Met often with Los Altos police chief Tuck Younis and brought clients to meet with officers at the LAPD to encourage them to reach out to police for support and protection; the LAPD now refers clients to WOMEN~SV
- Met with Assistant District Attorney Steve Dick to describe WOMEN~SV’s mission and services; WOMEN~SV now listed as a resource in the annual Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council Death Review Report
- Connected members of the Batterers Intervention Program Curriculum Committee and a social psychologist from Palo Alto University to: 1) address gaps in research with regard to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of current Batterers Intervention Programs; 2) find ways of identifying participants who lack the empathy, remorse, and willingness to change that are necessary in order to benefit from a Batterers Intervention Program; 3) develop alternate treatments/interventions for them in order to better protect survivors and children