"For the first time in years I can finally breathe. I realize that I was not really living. I want to help more women like me." Words of Survivor
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. www.access2jobs.org
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."
Our 17 Year History Transforming Victims into Survivors
Since 1997, Access, Inc.'s VAWA Legal Program has helped thousands of women like Jasmine who are physically, sexually abused, or subject to constant threats and humiliation leaving them feeling helpless and worthless. We provide legal assistance, advocacy, and financial education to 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.
Financial Education and Safety Classes: The Power of Knowledge
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.
“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.”
We have one month from September 2nd to October 3rd, to raise as much as we can to support more women like Jasmine who face special barriers to achieving financial independence. In addition the the money we raise, we have the chance to win cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Please support our efforts to empower more women like "Jasmine". Every donation counts!
A $10 donation will help us produce materials to reach women held captive in abusive relationships via flyers, community presentations, and existing networks.
A $200 donation will allow one victim to attend and complete the eight week financial literacy and safety course which helps her recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship; ways to access support; and receive legal assistance to break free and end the cycle of abuse.
A $1000 donation will allow one immigrant victim to obtain her legal residency under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and finally break free from slave like conditions that her abusive spouse has created under the veil of "marriage"
Our Goal is to raise at least $40,000, to allow us to educate and empower at least 200 more women in San Diego County, free 40 of our sisters still suffering in silence through the VAWA process, and create a book that profiles the success of each victim turned survivor to inspire more women like Jasmine to come out of the shadows and seek help.