Change-Makers Fight Domestic Violence

Reaching across cultural and language barriers, immigrant students at the San Francisco International High School have compiled profiles of individuals working to solve a problem the students are personally affected by or interested in. This group of change-makers works to reduce domestic violence.

Yael Melamed


Our group interviewed Yael Melamed from New York City. She currently has a private practice but used to work at La Casa de las Madres in San Francisco. She studied to be a psychotherapist in 2009. She has seen patients with depression and sometimes problems with domestic violence in their relationships – especially when their husbands were addicted to drugs, alcohol and sometimes to sex.

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During our conversation with Yael Melamed, she said that the work she does is to help women who are victims of domestic violence.

“I care about it a lot because it is something that I experienced early in my life.  I work in my own private practice and I volunteered in a shelter called La Casa de las Madres. We worked with women in particular…and it felt really important to feel their power and to stop abuse and to improve the trauma of the domestic violence and to make them feel safe.”

What You Can Do To Help

If you want to help change the problem of domestic violence, there are therapists like Yael Melamed who help victims of domestic violence. If you want more information, you can call La Casa de las Madres. The phone number is 415-463-4603 . Another thing you can do to help is donate to a local women’s shelter like Casa de las Madres. If you want more information, you can look at this website.


Daniel Sac, 17,  is from Guatemala. Cristhian Manfredo, 17, is from Honduras.  Linda Rosas, 16, is from Mexico.  Martha de Paz, 17, is from Guatemala.

Christine Hoang



Our group interviewed Christine Hoan,g who is from Vietnam. She works at an agency named Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. She has been doing this for seven years. Christine’s job is working with their clients, who are usually women from China, Vietnam or Mexico. Their clients live in violent homes, so the woman usually goes to a shelter and maybe brings her children with her.

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Christine told us an interesting story that shows how she helps immigrant women not be abused by their husbands. First, the woman calls the shelter and makes a plan without her husband knowing. Then, the worker helps her get to a shelter with her children and they help women file the report with the police. Also they stay with the women for the whole process. Another interesting thing Christine said is that they also help the abuser by making them join programs every week to learn why it is a bad idea to beat your wife. Christine said, “I see the women every couple of years and they always look better and then I tell them, ‘years ago you were in such a terrible place and you were crying, now, two years later you are doing so much better.’”

If you are a victim of domestic violence you can call La Casa de Las Madres at 415-503-0500 or for more information visit their website. Another thing you can do if you are the victim is talk to a friend about your problem. Then maybe your friend can help you to call someone who is working on this issue.


Hanadi, 15,  is from Yemen.  Abubakr, 18,  is from Yemen. Syndi, 17, is from Honduras. Anibal, 16, is from Guatemala. Ameer, 17,  is from Yemen.

Tino Ratliff


Tino Ratliff was born and raised here in San Francisco, CA. He works at UCSF New Generation Health centre (NGHC), a sexual health clinic for youth. He has been working there for  12 years as the clinic’s outreach and education coordinator. He goes into the community and talks to young people about their health and what NGHC can do for them. Some of the topics he presents on are safer sex, birth control and healthy relationships.

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Tino worked with one student from Marshall High School who was in a bad situation: he was involved with drugs and some bad guys that didn’t want to do good things. The New Generation Health Center had an after-school program and this student used to come and help out in the program. After a while, he became one of the leaders in the group. At first it didn’t look like he was going to graduate because that student was way behind in credits but after he started to go to the program, he started looking at how important it is to do well in school and also improve his life. It took him a little longer but he did graduate and he improved his life.

What You Can Do To Help

Tino believes you can help stop, or at least decrease domestic violence by educating our youth on what a healthy relationship looks like and all of its benefits, as well as educating on the effects abuse has on everyone involved. Another thing you can do to help is to call the La Casa De las Madres organization. They are a great resource in S.F. and offer services for women and children in a domestic violence situation.
Adult crisis line: 1-877-503-1850
Teen crisis line: 1-877-923-0700
Als,o you can call New Generation Health Center or visit their website for more resources. Phone: (415) -502-8336

Newaz, 17, is from Bangladesh.  Gaby, 15, is from El Salvador.  Jose, 15, is from El Salvador.

Dara Garcia


Our group interviewed Dara Garcia. She was born in Guatemala but she grew up here and she works at an organization called La Casa de las Madres. She has worked with domestic violence survivors for about two years. She is a teen case manager which means she goes into different schools and organizations that work with teens in the San Francisco area to provide services. La Casa also offers preventative education through their teen Dating Violence 101 workshops as they raise awareness around teen dating violence in order to support people experiencing domestic violence.

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“I want folks to know that there is hope, there is support, and we are here to help survivors of domestic violence get to a place where they feel safe.”

Dara said that her work is very important for our community and that it is important that we all take a stand against domestic violence because whether we’ve experienced it directly or not, it has an impact on the overall community. She said people who suffer domestic violence often feel that they don’t have any support or help. If they feel like that, it’s good to talk about this.

What You Can Do To Help 

If you want to help with domestic abuse, you can teach other people things that you know about this problem, by saying that they have the right to be safe and to not be afraid to talk if they live with this problem. Another thing you can do to help is volunteer with organizations like La Casa that help people with this problem. You can also start talking with your children about this topic, and tell them not to use violence; do not hit women or men and don’t be a part of domestic violence.

Student Group

Shirley, 18 years, is from China. Gilda, 17,  is from Guatemala. Selena, 14,  is from Mexico.  ChiLong, 15, is from Macau.

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