VOW-Voices of Women Organizing Project

Award Recipients - 2003

Susan Lob & Vickie Gomez, Lead Organizers

Voices of Women Organizing Project (VOW) is the first citywide membership group of domestic violence survivors fighting for a better and more just response from the systems that battered women rely on including the courts, police and child welfare systems.  Established in 2000, VOW’s mission is “to support the organizing efforts of battered women to change the systems that directly impact their lives.  Through technical assistance, leadership development and training, VOW empowers domestic violence survivors to enter important policy debates and to provide leadership to advocacy efforts.”  VOW is developing a “feminist social change model that combines organizing with healing rituals and self-healing practices that supports members for the long haul.”

VOW provides domestic violence survivors with training on organizing, public speaking and advocacy skills.  VOW’s organizing agenda includes fighting for more shelter space and permanent housing; increased safety in the courts; custody, visitation and child support agreements that take domestic violence into account; and stopping abusers from using the system against victims.  An important component that supports the organizing called, “Healing Expressions,” gives members the opportunity to discuss their experiences of partner abuse and victimization by the system and learn to transform their feelings of anger and grief into action.  Through personal transformation, organizing, outreach and education, the women are building an organization of strong, outspoken survivors committed to stopping violence against women.

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