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GLIDE Voices: Julia M. Williams on Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness Month

GLIDE Voices is honoring Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we asked Julia M. Williams, Case Manager for Women’s Center what GLIDE Value resonates with you most this month and why?  

“The GLIDE value that most resonates with me is Celebration. My mom has been in remission from breast cancer for five years now and we celebrate every day together. Her surviving cancer has taught us to never take our time together for granted and to cherish every moment. 

I’m a certified domestic violence counselor and what I try to do is provide help and support and share my story, because I think that can be really impactful. If I can make it out, I feel like that gives them courage that they can too. I generally like my clients to feel comfortable enough to share those things with me. I don’t really like to pry. So sometimes, it doesn’t come up unless I’m doing their needs assessment. But a lot of clients experience domestic violence, especially those who are experiencing homelessness as well.  

Domestic violence can look like a lot of things. In general, it’s really debilitating, and it’s not always physical. I think a lot of people look at domestic violence and think ‘Oh the person has to be physically assaulted for it to be considered domestic violence,’ but it can be emotional, it can be sexual, it can be financial. Even technological, like hacking onto someone’s social media, or tracking them through GPS. And it can result in a lot of physical and emotional issues. Things that come to mind would be chronic pain, PTSD, depression, substance use. It’s this all-encompassing issue that can have a lot of different faces. I think it’s really important for people to realize that it’s not always physical, it can be a lot of different things that are equally as traumatizing as physical violence. And it has no limits and no boundaries, it can be a lot to deal with. 

I’m a survivor of domestic violence and I’m also the daughter of a single mother. So, the unique needs of women are really close to my heart. I feel like women need a lot of services that are overlooked, even though 47% of the homeless population in San Francisco are women. So, I want to step in and provide that care for them.” 

Julia M. Williams, Women’s Center Case Manager