SFWAR’s Community Initiatives (CI) Program provides both youth and adults rape prevention education and supports communities in mobilizing to confront, reduce, and ultimately end sexual violence.
- Recognizes that education is a necessary foundation to support community organizing and mobilization to end sexual violence.
- Utilizes an anti-oppression framework, as we understand that oppression (i.e. sexism, racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, transphobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, etc.) contributes to sexual violence. So, to end rape we must actively challenge all forms of oppression.
- Addresses a spectrum of violence, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and/or violence in intimate and dating relationships.
- Supports communities as they develop their own culturally relevant solutions to end violence.
- Prioritizes working with, in, and for communities that have historically experienced high rates of sexual violence and are under/unserved. Members of these communities often face multiple barriers when accessing services due to discrimination and a lack of culturally appropriate services
CI activities include interactive culturally relevant prevention education presentations for youth and adults; training for staff of community agencies; outreach and education to individuals through tabling and facilitated discussions at community fairs and events; community-specific self-defense classes/demonstrations; and printing and distributing culturally relevant written materials. In addition, CI coordinates 3 community-specific organizing projects – STAND (Students Talking About Non-violent Dating), the Peer-2-Peer Outreach & Organizing Project, and the Life Healing Project.
Community Presentations, Staff Training, and Tabling
SFWAR’s Community Initiatives Program offers culturally relevant presentations on varied topics to youth and adults in schools, social service agencies, and community organizations.
Presentation topics include:
- Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention
- Sexual Harassment Prevention
- Healthy Relationships
- Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault
- Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
- Internet Technology Based Violence Prevention
- Bystander Intervention
SFWAR Community Educators provide English and Spanish language presentations.
The SFWAR Community Initiatives Program can also provide an information table at your event. If we are not able to table at your event, we may be able to send informational materials.
To request a presentation, training, or information table, please call (415) 861-2024 ext. 308 at least 2-4 weeks in advance or click here .
SFWAR prevention education is free to the community.
S.T.A.N.D. (Students Talking About Non-violent Dating)
Established in 1997, STAND is the oldest youth sexual and dating violence prevention project in San Francisco working in the widest range of settings (i.e. middle and high schools, after-school programs, and community-based youth focused organizations). Focusing on the prevention of a spectrum of gender violence impacting youth, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/intimate partner violence, internet & technology-based violence, and family violence
- Provides middle and high school-age students with adult-led education;
- Trains youth to educate their peers on the causes, effects, and prevention of violence against women and girls;
- Facilitates psycho-educational support groups for young women and young boys; and
- Assists administrators, teachers, and students of the San Francisco Unified School District with developing policies and practices to reduce and prevent incidents of inter-personal violence among youth.
Please click her to request a STAND presentation. Or, if you have questions about STAND, please contact SFWAR’s Director of Community Initiatives by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 861-2024.
Peer-2-Peer Outreach & Organizing Project
The SFWAR Peer-2-Peer Outreach & Organizing Project (P2P) is a collaboration between the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center (MNRC) and the Women’s Community Clinic (WCC) . It is rooted in the idea that sustained change is contingent on the active engagement of community members in change strategies. To that end, SFWAR recruits, hires, trains, and supports women who are homeless and/or marginally housed to undertake sexual assault prevention outreach and organizing efforts with their peers.
The goal of P2P is to:
- Increase community knowledge of existing rape crisis services and factors contributing to sexual violence.
- Foster community commitment to the prevention of sexual violence.
- Engage community in organizing activities to end sexual violence.
P2P organizers conduct outreach and facilitate popular education sessions in SRO hotels, community agencies, emergency shelters, and on the streets; they provide information on risk reduction, post-assault medical care, legal resources, counseling, and other needed social services. In addition, they facilitate discussions on the link between rape, poverty, and other social problems impacting homeless and marginally housed individuals; assist in developing bystander intervention strategies to sexual assault; and stand with their peers in advocating for policy change that will increase safety on the streets, in shelters, and SROs.
SFWAR P2P organizers outreach monthly at Ladies Night. Ladies Night is coordinated by our partner the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center. At Ladies Night, homeless and marginally housed women are able to get a free hot meal, seek resources and referrals, speak to a case-manager, receive toiletries, and be in community in a safe space with other women and community mentors. During Ladies Night, SFWAR provides toiletries to the women in attendance, information about our services, referrals, crisis intervention support, and advocacy.
In collaboration with the Women’s Community Clinic‘s (WCC), SFWAR P2P organizers also outreach to women residing in Mission District SROs (Single Room Occupancies). WCC staff provide food, toiletries, clean needle distribution as well as resources and referrals, while SFWAR provides on-site information and support to survivors of sexual assault and discusses prevention strategies with residents. We believe this is a model community health approach, pairing public and mental health support.
Life Healing Project
A famous 1979 photograph taken by Tia Cross depicted members of the Black lesbian feminist Combahee River Collective protesting the murders of Black women in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. They carried a banner that read in part “we cannot live without our lives.” It is this understanding, along with the recognition of the critical importance of personal and community healing, that compels The Life Healing Project—a collaborative of San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) and the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP).
Through the use of popular education and the art of filmmaking, The Life Healing Project fosters commitment to and engagement in reducing, preventing, and ending sexual violence against lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer (LBTQ) women of color. LBTQ women of color participate in intensive multi-session Learning Circles developed and led by SFWAR staff examining the impact of sexual violence. Learning Circle participants then create films exploring the intersections of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, class, immigration, and sexual violence during a 4-day comprehensive workshop led by QWOCMAP. Films are showcased at the annual QWOCMAP Film Festival held in June.
To register for future LHP circles or, if you have questions, please contact SFWAR’s Director of Community Initiatives by email at email@example.com or by phone at (415) 861-2024. The project is FREE, but a brief registration is required. Open to ages 16+, stipends are available for youth ages 16-24, sessions are held at The Women’s Building (3543 18th Street, SF, 94118) or other local community spaces.
SFWAR offers 3 to 4 self-defense trainings each year. These trainings are free and facilitated by Marital Arts Instructor and former SFWAR Rape Crisis Counselor Janet Gee .
SFWAR has partnered with Janet Gee for over 20 years to provide self-defense instruction to a wide-range of diverse San Francisco communities.
For information about up-coming Self-Defense Training, please contact SFWAR’s Director of Community Initiatives by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 861-2024.