October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and as such, this is a stark reminder that it is a subject that is important to discuss, as many even in our own community are experiencing these struggles and not feeling able to get the help or guidance they need. That is why organizations such as SFSU’s very own Women’s Center is so important and deserves to be acknowledged for all of the work that they do. What initially started off in 1975 as a safe space for those needing to breastfeed on campus, shifted in the later part of the 90’s to become a place that supports all students needing support, ranging from DV to abortion care to personal agency to any issues relating to gender justice, and food and housing insecurity.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Claire Satuito, the Director of the Women’s Center, and Madeine Cox, the Assistant Director. Being a part of Associated Students, the Women’s Center is a non-profit that operates on school grounds – meaning it is for the students, by the students. The staff there work on average 20 hours a week while helping those who need assistance.
COVID as can be expected did affect both victims and the Women’s Center, as they are successfully working on having an open door policy and a space that is welcoming to all who need it. Claire and Madeline made it clear that the Women’s Center is open to all regardless of gender identity. “The Women’s Center was called The Women’s Center, but as it kind of grew over time, it started to become a resource for all communities affected by misogyny…we want to be here for everyone”, says Madeline. The values of community that are the foundations that the Women’s Center was built on are still going strong today, and that they are looking forward to the changes of recent times to carry them through. Currently, they are busy looking to fill a semester-long internship role that will be run by Madeline, as well as preparing for the 7th annual What Is Love? event on Monday, October 23rd from 10 AM – 2 PM in Rosa Parks A-C. The event will focus on healthy relationships and domestic violence awareness with presentations and workshops from local organizations such as SF Women Against Rape and Black Women Revolt.
If you would like to visit the Women’s Center, they are located at: The third floor of the Cesar Chavez Building T-116