A Safe House

La Casa de las Madres ensures safety, resources for abuse victims

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A Safe House

T

o many a mother means more than just a parent.

She is a sense of comfort and security. She is someone to turn to for guidance and wise advice. Someone who ensures that her child is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make it successful in life. She embodies a strong, selfless, and compassionate woman.

La Casa de las Madres, also known as “The House of Mothers” tries to embody these motherly attributes through their organization and their staff.

As an organization, La Casa de las Madres provides a safe and comfortable home to many. Their mission is to educate those around them about domestic violence and support people by helping them find their own way. They also remind victims that they all have the knowledge and power to do what they want. Whether that is getting out of a relationship or getting into a healthier space.

The staff at La Casa de las Madres believe it is important to emphasize trust, love, open-mindedness, and a sense of comfort with their patrons because of the types of issues they face. These issues include emotional, financial, and psychological abuse. As well as other personal issues regarding finances, housing, and language barriers.

One woman in particular, Andrea Diaz, tries her best to do this in all of her work. In her role as Education and Volunteer

Andrea Diaz (Photo: Jack Wise)

Manager, she is responsible for going out, presenting, and communicating with different local communities about how to recognize domestic violence. By giving these presentations many individuals realize they, themselves, are victims of abuse. They also go to local schools around San Francisco because they believe it is important to teach young adults these issues too. Diaz explains by giving these speeches around the area it is educating but also informing many where a safe place for victims of abuse can turn to. It also teaches people how to identify survivors through “Domestic Violence 101.”

“A lot of time people don’t know that they’re in these types of relationships, so they don’t know how to recognize or support people in them,” Andrea Diaz, Education and Volunteer Manager at La Casa de las Madres, said.

Surprisingly, many actually don’t know the signs and indicators of abuse. This is why La Casa de las Madres works hard to both inform and protect possible survivors of abuse.

As an organization, La Casa de las Madres ensures that all victims receive help. In doing this, they provide numerous resources such as crisis service lines, emergency shelters, therapy support groups, community apartments, safe housing, and case management. On top of that they work with hospitals and police departments if needed.

As an organization, Diaz explains they never suggest what’s best for victims, but instead ask them what they need.          

“To tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do is only reciprocating the violence they are already facing,” she said. “They already have somebody telling them what to do, or not to do, or having some sort of control over them. So we’re not here to tell them what’s best, they know what’s best for them, we are just here to support them however they need our support”

For many victims, the abuse they endured affects the way they live and how they think of themselves. 

“Anytime anything around you is unhealthy, it’s going to have repercussions on each person,” Diaz said. “It’s going to vary for each individual from wherever standpoint. In general, a lot of times we lose touch with what we know.”

Diaz explains by working with this organization it makes her more compassionate. It also helps her realize that so many people come to La Casa de las Madres to deal with really personal issues. She respects and enjoys how brave they are to confide in strangers and allow them to help and be apart of their lives. It is inspiring for her to see how they continue to live life by going back to school or work. Through this experience, she has come across people she would have never expected and it has opened her mind to the idea that you never know what people have truly faced, and that it’s best to just not judge.

If someone is ever in need of a safe place and home to turn, Diaz said “their door is always open.”