Volunteer Spotlight – Diana Duarte

Diana Duarte - Volunteer SpotlightWhen did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I started my 40 hour training in February and completed it in March 2013!

What inspired you to do anti-violence work?

I was looking for any type of volunteer work after I graduated from college and when I came across W.O.M.A.N., Inc. I knew it would be a good fit for me. I have close friends and family who are survivors of domestic violence.

What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?

I help out on the crisis line and with the Latina Program.

How has your involvement impacted your life?

Volunteering at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has really opened my eyes to how serious of an issue domestic violence truly is. I can say that in the past I was one of those people who said, “ Well why don’t they just leave the relationship?, but the training and volunteering has taught me so much about the severity of domestic violence and that sometimes the survivor can’t just walk away for many reasons. I have also met so many great people here. Even though the work we do can be very difficult the office is a very warm and friendly place that I look forward to coming to every week!

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

Sometimes it’s really hard to hear survivors’ stories and you get discouraged because you feel like you have no way of helping them because of the many roadblocks that come up. It’s important to know that you just being there to listen is sometimes all you can do at that moment and that shows survivors that there are people who care and they are not alone!

If you have a difficult call or just feel you need to vent don’t be afraid to talk to a staff member or another volunteer! We’ve all had times when the information we hear is intense so it’s completely normal if you’re like “Ahhh that was a lot for me”!

Read Diana’s full account of her volunteering experience on the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. blog.

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