In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’d like to introduce you to Tyra Wright-Johnson, a domestic violence survivor and a past recipient of the Live Your Dream Awards. Tyra fought and won her own battle with an abusive partner and now helps other women do the same. Here she talks about the nonprofit she founded, The Women’s Solo Project, Inc., and how it empowers victims to take control of their own lives.
Since winning the Live Your Dream Awards, I completed my degree with a bachelor’s in business management from University of Phoenix in 2005. In February 2009, I started The Women’s Solo Project, Inc., a non-profit resource center whose mission is to educate women and children about domestic violence prevention and awareness in the city of Philadelphia. Our focus is primarily addressing the physical, financial, and emotional needs of individuals who are in abusive relationships by providing resources and training that may be required. We service and educate victims of domestic violence along with their children.
The Women’s Solo Project, Inc., provides women assistance and a safeenvironment by helping them breaking away from their current circumstances, and helps guide them to the next steps, whether that is school, career training or job placement. Teaching clients to become self-sufficient is our number one goal. We do this by assisting them with interviewing skills and preparing them to go to work.
In addition, The Women’s Solo Project, Inc implements a six-step process for clients to gain confidence and exist successfully outside of an abusive relationship:
(1) Understand domestic violence
(2) Get to know yourself
(3) Learn to trust others again
(4) How to become independent
(5) Regain trust – how not to be a victim again
(6) Forgiveness – Live without boundaries.
We also conduct six workshops on Life Skills – learning the basics of living on their own with their children. This includes bathing, feeding, cleaning, washing, and ironing clothes for the family. Parenting – learn the proper care for their children. This workshop helps the women know what to do for their children when hungry, wet, or need extra care. Learn to be patient and caring to the children and be willing to get help when needed for themselves and children. Anger Management – The women get full examples of what can happen if they do not watch their anger. How to control this behavior so that is will not become explosive. Learn ways to minimize stress and seek help. Budgeting – Participants get a basic instruction on how to save money to pay bills, childcare, food, rent, and other necessity. They also have a basic guide so they can see where their money goes. Facilitated by TD Bank. Art Therapy – Women learn to channel the bad experiences through art expression. They tell their personal stories through pictures, paints, and collages. Finally, Living a Green Lifestyle – This workshop teaches the importance of our how we all have a part in the earth and keeping it clean. Provide healthy eating and feeding alternatives for families.
We train our volunteers with learning how to address issues regarding domestic violence. We educate students from University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University to understand the signs of domestic violence. These trainings are performed at The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia’s Eliza Shirley House in Center City Philadelphia. One of Soroptimist’s platforms is recognizing and addressing domestic violence in the workplace, so this effort pays credence to that global effort, we’re proud to say.
I am currently attending Walden University working on a master’s degree in organizational psychology and nonprofit management. I love it!! It allows me to be a social change agent not only within my organization, but also in my community. I am an active member of Soroptimist in Philadelphia.
On September 24, 2013 The Women’s Solo Project, Inc., hosted a program about the dangers of bullying in school and neighborhood. They are currently working on domestic violence forums that will train workers in the human and social services fields in October 2013.
Interesting in volunteering with The Women’s Solo Project, Inc.? Contact Tyra Wright-Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.