Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Nguyen

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I completed my training earlier this spring and started volunteering shortly thereafter.

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?

Violence had become normative– in my community, among my friends, and even in my home and personal life. I wanted to change that both for myself and for others. And I didn’t want my children to grow up in the world that I was intimately familiar with.

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?

I currently volunteer as a Domestic Violence counselor on the Crisis Line (mostly after-hours) and with the Children’s Program.

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?

Empowerment. I feel so grateful for being empowered by my experiences working with W.O.M.A.N., Inc., and for being able to witness and support the self-empowerment of other survivors.

5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

To me, the most important and most challenging aspect of working with survivors is meeting them where they’re at. It took a long while for me to be able to feel okay with ending a crisis call without a clear resolution or plan. There were several calls where the survivor left still in a state of imminent harm. I would apologize for not being able to help more, but what I discovered was that for the majority of folks I spoke with, they felt really supported just being heard.

6) What do you enjoy the most about volunteering at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

Aside from having the opportunity to support survivors, what I appreciate most about volunteering at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is the strong community that is built among advocates. I feel both privileged to be a part of this community and movement and supported and inspired by the folks that work within it.

7) Can you share one fun fact about yourself?

At one point in my life, I seriously considered changing my identity and becoming a Canadian. I had planned to sequester myself in Montreal forever. I’m glad now that I did not, and for all the life-changing experiences I’ve had and inspirational advocates I’ve met through the years.

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