I first became involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. when I completed the 48 hour domestic violence advocate training this past summer. I have been volunteering for the organization since August 2013.
I was inspired to do anti-violence work out of a desire to find a community that shared similar values to my own, particularly a feminist-oriented organization trying to put an end to injustice. In my eyes, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s mission coincides well with my personal values of focusing on equality, consent, and the freedom of each individual to make their own choices. I feel that oppression is the main component of the unneeded violence in our society, and I appreciate W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s educating others on the critical link between the two.
I take calls on the crisis line and also provide peer counseling during drop in support hours at the office.4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
My time at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has greatly aided in my decision to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Being given the opportunity to see clients in person was a tremendous responsibility and has boosted my confidence in my peer counseling abilities. I am grateful for the extensive training that I have received on domestic violence, as knowledge of these issues has spread to my other peer counseling roles and has made me a more well rounded listener and advocate. Lastly, the survivors that I speak to through W.O.M.A.N., Inc. inspire me in their strength and resilience – they have taught me a new meaning for the word “survivor”. I am proud to be a survivor advocate and look forward to being a part of the anti domestic violence community for years to come.
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.?
I feel that the best advice I can give to anyone in the community who works with survivors is to listen. Truly listening to each survivor’s past and present is the key to helping them live a future without violence.