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“Creating Freedom” fundraiser

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On Saturday, July 28, a fundraiser for Every Fourth Woman will be held at the Brickhouse Gallery, 2837 36th St., from 7-10 p.m. Enjoy jazz by the Darrell Stanley Band, tacos, assorted desserts, and bid on fabulous items in a silent auction.

The nonprofit organization, Every Fourth Woman, is “a survivor-generated and survivor-run union dedicated to public domestic violence education focused on the goal of reducing domestic violence,” according to its spokesperson.

Every Fourth Woman has created and distributed nearly 1,000 posters that illustrate the specifics of domestic violence, and asks women to “Say ‘NO!’ to abusive and controlling relationships.” Each of the six categories — “mind games,” “verbal abuse,” “controlling,” “intimidating,” “economic abuse” and “physical abuse” — lists specifics such as “denials of personal criticism,” “name calling,” “constant phoning/texting,” “raging while driving,” “taking partner’s resources” and “grabbing/pushing/yanking.”

About one year ago, Every Fourth Woman began organizing an art and poetry exhibit in which domestic violence survivors would teach the public about what happens when they walk out the door. In this exhibit, poetry and art will be shown at the California Museum beginning Oct. 3, and will illustrate what a woman does after losing her home, her savings, her friends and “nearly everything that provided her with a life and identity in the world.”

The exhibit, “Creating Freedom: The Art and Poetry of Domestic Violence Survivors,” is accepting submissions of visual art and poetry from domestic violence survivors who wish to tell their stories of “the largely unaddressed aftermath of leaving domestic violence.” The deadline for submissions is July 30, 2012.

Women are often counseled on how to leave an abusive relationship, but they rarely learn how to “navigate the hell that follows,” says a domestic violence survivor.

“Our post-domestic violence experiences affect all of society through increased homelessness, medical care and children and mothers who forever fail to live up to their full potential.”

To help fund this educational exhibit, Every Fourth Woman is holding its first fundraiser this Saturday evening. The $15 donation is tax deductible, and all proceeds will support the “Creating Freedom” exhibit.

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