Friday, October 2, 2009

Interview with our Program Director

Denisse Wolfenzon, Program Director, has been a pivotal part of the team since 2006. We asked her a few questions about womens rights.

Q) What do you think is the most important thing we can do to end violence against women?

A) Violence against women groups and organizations should work together so that they do not duplicate efforts and achieve more concrete goals and we should continue to advocate for a more effective and responsive legal system for victims of violence. Most importantly however, we should involve men and boys in these efforts.

Q) What can someone do if they are trying to leave their abusive relationship?

A) It is important for victims to make his/her own decision about leaving the abusive relationship. They know better when anyone about when it is right to leave. Advocates should consider every person's situation individually and create a safety planning that is right for them. Safety planning is to think of practical ideas/tips to try to stay safe while still in an abusive relationship, when they are about to leave or after they left the relationship. Talk to a social worker or an advocate about their options.

Q) What can friends and family do to help someone in an abusive relationship?

A) If family and friends want to help someone in an abusive relationship, they can start by listening. Showing their unconditional support and letting them know that they are available whenever they need to be. Never judge someone who is in an abusive relationship if she/he is not yet ready to leave it. Leaving an abusive relationship takes courage, support, resources and time.

Q) How did you get involved in helping victims of domestic violence?

A) My interest started when I was an intern at Madre, an international women’s human rights organization in NYC. I assisted in a research project about Violence against Indigenous Women. Then, I realized the tremendous impact of the legal system in issues of domestic violence and the urgent necessity to provide and disseminate accurate legal information to ensure victim’s safety. is a comprehensive website that contains crucial information about domestic violence and sexual assault, and, I believe, a crucial resource for helping women and men who are in abusive situations.


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