Domestic abuse aid                                         
Rick Badie-Staff
Tuesday, July 22, 2003                            

Verizon Wireless recently donated $10,000 to Women Are Dreamers Too Inc., a nonprofit organization that trains and helps domestic abuse victims to become small-business owners.

The money will be used to help expand the organization's Micro Enterprise Training Center program, which operates in Fulton and Gwinnett counties. The 12-week program helps women land jobs as well as build their business acumen.

Founded by Cindy Williams, Women Are Dreamers Too aims to help domestic abuse survivors reach economic self-sufficiency.

In Gwinnett, the organization is targeting immigrant women in particular because they tend to suffer privately because of cultural traditions, language barriers and a host of other reasons, Williams said. Williams is working with the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization that has an Atlanta office, and other advocacy groups to reach Latinos. The Gwinnett office opened in December.

It's a massive problem because the cultural barrier is such that the things we see as a big deal, a person of a different background or ethnic group may think is nothing," Williams said. "The man is supposed to be the head of the household, and outsiders are not supposed to poke their nose in family affairs.

"It's difficult to break that barrier with . . . ethnic groups," she continued. "For them, domestic violence often is something that isn't talked about."

Meanwhile, Women Are Dreamers Too Inc. will hold its second annual graduation luncheon from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast in Norcross. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is the special guest.

For more information about Women Are Dreamers Too Inc., visit www.wadt.org or call 404 477-4211

*The AJC Logo is a Trademark of The AJC

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