Alipato Project

Together, we can hold batterers financially accountable
Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas
507 Facebook Friends
Oakland, California
United States
5 Team Members


The Alipato Project's Mission

To ensure the safety and financial wellbeing of families in California by providing legal representation to domestic violence survivors in tort actions against their batterers.

One out of every three women in the world will be raped, beaten, trafficked, or abused in her lifetime. In California alone, law enforcement receives one domestic violence related call every three minutes. Your donation will help us reduce these numbers by establishing the first nonprofit organization to specialize in litigating domestic violence tort cases.

What We Need 

Breakdown of Costs

Everything raised over $50,000 can help pay for suing even more batterers in civil court!

If we don't reach our fundraising goal, you get to keep your donation and  survivors of domestic violence will continue to face great hurdles searching for an attorney to take on their personal injury case.

The Impact

In our work, the Alipato Project is committed to modeling acts of solidarity (as opposed to acts of mere charity) with domestic violence survivors. This means that we do not see nor treat women as pitiful victims in need of nice rich people to give them food, shelter, and money. Instead, we see victims as resilient survivors who are entitled to financial restitution from their batterers. 

We believe that working within this framework will empower survivors to stand up against their abusers, backed with the knowledge that the community collectively disapproves of their abuser's actions. But first, we need the community to demonstrate that we are indeed outraged by the prevalence of domestic violence. By donating to the Alipato Project, you show domestic violence survivors that you believe that they deserve attorneys to take on their case. 

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the median award for intentional tort cases is $38,000. There is also precedence for jury awarded fees for as much as $500,000 for domestic violence survivors. Hence, litigating domestic violence tort cases not only financially compensates a victim for the harms they endured, but also puts batterers across the United States on notice that their future misconduct will come at a substantial price. 

This also means there is significant income to be recovered in domestic violence tort claims, making it possible for the Alipato Project to charge clients a sliding scale contingency fee in addition to seeking court-awarded attorney’s fees. As the first organization to specialize in domestic violence tort cases, the Alipato Project plans to demonstrate the long-term financial sustainability of this endeavor, thereby inspiring other attorneys to also seek financial restitution for survivors across the United States. 

Other Ways You Can Help

Please help us end the cycle of domestic violence by:

  • sharing our video with your friends and family;
  • hosting a fundraiser brunch at your home;
  • throwing a fundraiser dance party;
  • asking your boss and co-workers to pool money together for the cause; and
  • sharing our Indiegogo page with your social media networks.

Host a party!


We also have perks: awesome music downloads, signed CDs, shirts, murals, VIP tickets to Alipato Project's "Thank You" party at the New Parkway Theater, and honorary board membership.


David Evans' Album, "Beta" Joshua Bloom's EP, "Late" Marcus Very Ordinary EP, SIGNED!

 Felecia and the Dinosaur's Album, "In the Key of Victory" Shut Up's Mixed Tape Dear Indugu

  • David Evan. Genre: indie and folk rock
  • Blooms. Genre: hip hop
  • Marcus Very Ordinary. Genre: sad bastard music
  • Felecia and the Dinosaur. Genre: feminasty folkabilly
  • Shut Up's Mixed Tape. Genre: blues, rock, blue grass, doo wop, happy hardcore
  • Dear Indugu. Genre: acoustic-electric indie rock



VIP Tickets!

For Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), the Alipato Project will host a screening of "All Good Things," with a panel discussion at the New Parkway Theater. VIP Tickets give you free entry passes and drink vouchers!

All Good Things

All Good Things: Mr. David Marks (Ryan Gosling) was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie (Kirsten Dunst) who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed.


Faultline Artspace and Endless Canvas were lucky to have Gaily Ezer, an aspiring botany textbook artist, paint murals (pictured below) for them. You can be so lucky by making a $500 donation to the Alipato Project.

Gaily Ezer's Murals


Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Status: Pending

Alipato Project's 501(c)(3) status application is pending. If the IRS grants our application, your contribution will be treated as tax-deductible, retroactive to the date of our organization's formation (09/21/2012).

Our Team

Tia Katrina Taruc CanlasTia Katrina Taruc Canlas
Founder, Staff Attorney
Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas graduated from Berkeley Law, where she was awarded the first annual Jim Fahey Safe Homes for Women Fellowship Award for her academic and extracurricular work in domestic violence law. She provided legal representation to domestic violence survivors in immigration petitions, restraining order hearings, and asylum claims. She also handled gender discrimination cases at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she conducted legal research and authored memos against corporations with discriminatory hiring policies. With a commitment to fighting all forms of oppression, she established the Alipato Project as a horizontally-run nonprofit organization dedicated to ending domestic violence.
Rima ChaudryRima Chaudry
Board Member
With over ten years experience in the non profit sector providing fund development and programmatic support, Rima Chaudry has an in-depth understanding of what it takes to create and implement successful and fundable programs. She attended San Francisco State University where she served as Director of the Women’s Center. After graduating with a B.A. in Sociology, she worked with victims of domestic violence and human trafficking through Narika, the Asian Anti-Trafficking Collaborative, and the Family Violence Law Center. Rima enhances the Alipato Project's fundraising efforts.
John Semerdjian
John Semerdjian
Board Member
John Semerdjian attended the University of California, Berkeley and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health and takes interest in eradicating domestic violence with a public health lens. He currently serves as a Data Analyst at the Safety Net Institute and brings his accounting and analytical skills to the Alipato Project. 
Patricia MoranPatricia Morán
Board Member
Patricia Morán earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from UCLA, a Masters in Library and Information Science from San José State University, and is currently a Children’s Librarian at the Oxnard Public Library. She served on the Board of Bibliotecas Para la Gente, the Northern California chapter of REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos & the Spanish-speaking), and is eager to bring this experience with her in serving the Alipato Project.
Heather Warnken
Heather Warnken, Esq.
Board Member
Heather Warnken is a Legal Policy Associate at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law & Social Policy. In 2011 she authored a study on the role of victims' services in responding to Violence Against Women in California, and her current work includes multiple projects addressing victims’ rights and services statewide. She attended Johns Hopkins University, Suffolk University Law School, and earned her Masters of Law at Berkeley Law. Heather Warnken has worked with the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence on multiple amicus briefs, and has provided direct legal services in domestic violence, custody, and child welfare matters at the Family Violence Law Center, the California Habeas Project,  Children’s Legal Services, and the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. 
Tara RamanathanTara Ramanathan
Board Member
Tara Ramanathan's view of social change lies in a model that combines harm reduction and restorative justice. She is currently pursuing a massage therapy license, and plans to use her rape crisis counseling certification as she focuses on somatic healing for survivors of trauma. As a Volunteer Coordinator, Tara increased Ella Baker Center's volunteer and intern base by 100% through community outreach.


The Alipato Project would like to thank the following people, without whom our Indiegogo Campaign would not have been possible.
Christopher Gene Myers AKA "Crow," thank you for using your amazing woodworking skills to build the equipment we needed to animate Cristina Taruc's story.
Rachael Boyd, thank you for letting us use your beautiful music. Wishing you the best from across the Atlantic Ocean.
Lucas Guilkey, our videos would have been wobbly without you. Thank you for letting us use your tripods of various shapes and sizes.
Kenji-Kai Yee, thank you for filming the footage, transferring it onto our computers, and than filming more footage, and trasferring that onto our computers again. Your patience is greatly appreciated.
Professor Nancy Lemon, thank you for your mentorship, encouragement, passion, and ideas.
Cristina Taruc, thank you for your courage in sharing your story. We know it was hard for you to revisit some of the darkest times in your life. Your resilience in the face of extreme hardship and sorrow truly is the spark that ignites our fire. A million times, thank you.


Alipato (noun) Origin: Tagalog
  1. A spark that spreads the fire
  2. A glowing ember that escapes a dying fire
Tort (noun) Origin: Middle English
  1. A wrongful act that results in damage to another person's body, property, or reputation, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation.

Legal Background

In 2002, the California Legislature responded to widespread concern about gender-based violence by enacting AB 1933, which established a new cause of action for the intentional tort of domestic violence.  This statute enhanced the civil remedies available to domestic violence victims to “underscore society’s condemnation of these acts, to ensure complete recovery to victims, and to impose significant financial consequences upon perpetrators,” (AB 1933). By establishing the tort of domestic violence, AB 1933 made available compensatory and punitive damages to survivors of domestic violence.

Seeking compensatory and punitive damages through an intentional tort claim is an effective way to compensate victims and deter an abuser’s future misconduct.  Unfortunately, the majority of law firms are not willing to litigate intentional tort claims against batterers.  Statistics show negligent tort cases represent 60% of torts tried in civil courts, while intentional torts only compose 4%; domestic violence claims are an unreported fraction of those intentional tort claims.

This underrepresentation is caused by three factors:

  1. Liability insurance policies do not cover intentional torts. 
  2. The assumption that batterers have limited assets. Hence, it seems less profitable to specialize in domestic violence cases than it is to specialize in litigating automobile accident claims in which plaintiffs and their attorneys recover directly from insurance companies.
  3. Many people remain unaware that AB 1933 made compensatory and punitive damages available to domestic violence survivors, even ten years after its enactment.  This is in large part due to the fact that existing domestic violence legal programs only focus on requesting restraining orders and practicing criminal, immigration, and family law.

The legal community currently needs a strategy that simultaneously provides full financial redress to victims and holds perpetrators financially accountable in a manner that deters future misconduct. The Alipato Project was the first organization founded to meet this need.


Find This Campaign On
raised by 104 people in 1 month
8% funded
0 time left
$50,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $50,000USD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 19, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    A match

    Free download of Joshua Bloom's EP, "Late"

    5 claimed

  • $15USD
    A lighter

    Free download of David Evan's Album, "Beta"

    4 out of 50 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $20USD
    A glimmer

    A copy of Shut Up's Mixed Tape, signed by Vocalist/Guitarist Jim Rock Schiller

    2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $25USD
    A flicker

    Free download of Felecia and the Dinosaur's Album, "In the Key of Victory"

    8 out of 50 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $30USD
    A sparkle

    Copy of Marcus Very Ordinary's EP, "The Marcus Very Ordinary Renounces the Soil and Popular Roots," signed by Jon Lorentz AKA Jojipus Maximus

    1 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $45USD
    A shine

    One free body work session from massage therapy student Tara Ramanathan (to be redeemed in Oakland, CA)

    4 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $50USD
    A fiery melody

    Dear Indugu CD, signed by the whole band!

    2 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $55USD
    A flame

    American Apparel Unisex Long-Sleeved Shirt Screen printed artwork Sizes S, M, L

    12 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $65USD
    A lantern

    One VIP ticket to Alipato Project's "Thank You" party. Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 (Domestic Violence Awareness Month) Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm Place: New Parkway Theater Movie: TBA

    4 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $100USD
    A torch

    A pair of VIP tickets to Alipato Project's "Thank You" party. Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 (Domestic Violence Awareness Month) Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm Movie: TBA

    4 out of 55 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $500USD
    A bonfire

    Oakland-based Muralist and Street Artist Gaily Ezer will paint a mural on any* Bay Area wall of your choosing. *You must own the wall or have permission to paint it.

    0 out of 2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $1,000USD

    You receive "honorary board member" status on our website, letterhead, and literature. When the Alipato Project goes down in history for being the spark that spreads the fire, your name will also be memorialized.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2013
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.