The Night Jasmine Almost Died:
"The one occasion where he hit me was when I was 7 months pregant. He threw me out of our home and told me I was a whore and that my place was in the streets. That night I lost consciousness because I had fallen on the floor and I don't know what else happened until I was in bed and he was placing a cotton ball with alcohol under my nose. I regained consciousness and I told him that I couldn't breathe and asked him to help me. He told me the only thing I deserved was to die, and if I did not die, he would kill me. I told him I was pregnant and he told me he did not want this child and that I was more of a value dead than live to my child. He said the only reason I was alive was because the only thing he wanted from me was to have more children."
Since 1997, Access, Inc.'s VAWA Legal Program has helped thousands of women like Jasmine who are physically or sexually abused or subject to constant threats and humiliation leaving them feeling helpless and worthless. We provide legal assistance, advocacy, and financial education help the victim regain her sense of self and move on with her life, free from abuse. This program also trains young women and men to educate other youth about unhealthy relationships.
Access, Inc. is a non-profit community based agency located in the heart of San Diego in the community of Linda Vista that was established in 1967. Access, Inc.’s mission is to address the needs of the most vulnerable and under-served populations in San Diego County, especially transition age, at-risk youth; recent or unassimilated immigrants, and victims of domestic violence, trafficking, or other forms of exploitation, opening doors of opportunity to them by providing counseling, education, case management, legal assistance, career exploration and placement services to assist them to achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence.
Many women like Jasmine live in fear but cannot safely access information. Since 2011, through our financial education and safety classes taught in Spanish, we have educated at least 200 Spanish speaking immigrant victims who had no where else to turn. These women developed support networks with their fellow classmates and inspired other women in their communities to come forward and seek help. The popularity of this class has grown based on word of mouth endorsements of women who graduated from the eight week course. Based on the success of these support groups, we created similar networks for Filipinos, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, and Mixteco women.
“I would recommend this class to other women because in this economy it is very hard to save money. It is also very beneficial for victims of domestic abuse because it empowers them to get out of that situation... It gives you the chance to break the silence of many victims of domestic abuse. It is a great environment for your voice to be heard and ask questions you have been afraid to ask.”
The project has allowed us to provide a safe space for survivors of domestic violence to speak out and ask questions they “have been afraid to ask” and begin to establish a network of support to build a better financial future for themselves and their families.
One survivor notes : "For the first time in years, I can finally breathe. I realize that I was not really living. I want to help other women like me."
Knowledge truly is power. Please support our efforts to empower more women like "Jasmine".
OUR GOAL is to raise at least $10,000 each year to educate and empower more immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence in San Diego County by provide pro bono legal assistance, victim support, and advocacy.