I originally moved from Florida to San Francisco a little over 2 years ago. My girlfriend at the time, Danielle, stayed behind. She was a wonderful, giving, caring, brilliant person, one of the best people I had ever known. The next relationship she was in had physical, mental, and emotional violence. When she tried to leave the relationship and get help, it ended up costing her life.
It took me quite some time to come to terms with that. I knew I wanted to try and do something in her honor, but it took time to finally realize the best thing I could do to honor her was to help other survivors. That’s what lead me to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
Danielle was the organizer of all of our social events when we were together and also the queen of facebook and social media. That’s why it felt so appropriate to join the events team and social media team at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. That is where I’ve been volunteering for the last few months. In the future, I also want to help with the crisis line because I feel there is such a need for good support on the crisis line.
Volunteering has been a very healing experience for me personally. I feel more connected to Danielle than I have since I moved to California, even though she’s no longer with us. It’s also been a learning experience for me. I was largely ignorant of domestic violence issues before all of this happened. I had no idea about the extent of the issue or how many different people it impacted. It’s been eye opening to learn about the many facets of domestic violence. That has just inspired me more that this is an issue that we all need to be aware of in order to help eliminate it.
I know many people that help support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. are survivors or know survivors personally. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t to learn more about domestic violence and be open to the idea that there may be survivors that you are close with that you never realized were impacted by domestic violence.