Women’s Center Youth and Family Services

Take A Stand. We’ll Stand with You.

Since 2010, Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Strong Field Project (SFP) has awarded grants to domestic violence service providers to build the capacity of their organizations and strengthen the entire field. SFP grantee, Women’s Center Youth and Family Services (Women’s Center – YFS), used its Organizational Strengths Grant to launch a multimedia public awareness and outreach campaign in San Joaquin County. The goal of the campaign was to not only encourage more survivors to use its services, but to reduce overall rates of domestic violence across the county, particularly among hard-to-reach populations. 

Women’s Center – YFS surveyed a diverse cross-section of the community to learn about perceptions of domestic violence and awareness of the organization’s services. A common theme from survey responses was a desire for the general community to more openly acknowledge the existence of domestic violence. This insight led to the creation of new campaign messages, “Talk About it Before its Too Late” and “Take a Stand: We’ll Stand With You,” which appeared on billboards, bus shelters, in online videos, and in local radio and print ads. The organization also distributed a community action guide (in English and Spanish), which included a safety-plan checklist and a description of Women’s Center – YFS services. 

When we were thinking of the messaging, looking at the distribution of the campaign materials, and when we were asked to do presentations — all of that made us think harder about our approach and what we were doing to be appropriate, respectful, and responsive to our different communities in San Joaquin County.

— Joelle Gomez, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Center - YFS

According to Chief Executive Officer, Joelle Gomez, the organization’s efforts to connect with hard-to-reach populations have helped it build a more culturally competent approach to outreach. “When we were thinking of the messaging, looking at the distribution of the campaign materials, and when we were asked to do presentations — all of that made us think harder about our approach and what we were doing to be appropriate, respectful, and responsive to our different communities in San Joaquin County.”

The campaign was a success, resulting in increased demand for services, greater numbers of donations, and interest from other organizations for Women’s Center – YFS educational materials, presentations, and partnerships. The organization plans to continue annual marketing and media efforts to build upon on the progress already made.