1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I submitted my application to become a crisis line volunteer in Fall 2014. Shortly there after I began the 40 hour training and began my first crisis line shift in December.
2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
Unfortunately, there are way too many instances of domestic violence that occur in our society. To me, violence relates to a large spectrum that includes everything from every day microaggressions to physical and emotional violence. I have always believed that each act of violence, in and of itself, should be acknowledged somehow, that it should be named and addressed in ways that are relevant and important to the people experiencing it and are being affected by it. Many times, instances of violence are simply “swept under the rug” and that needs to stop. I wanted to volunteer with W.O.M.A.N. Inc. because if I can at least help 1 single person, even if it’s in the most smallest manner, to help end a cycle of violence, then I would be successful at my job. My long term goal is to help a family unit stop the cycle completely so it will grow and flourish with what ever their personal dreams and goals are. I strongly believe that everyone has the right to be safe from harm regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, ethnicity or economic status.
3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
So many! First and foremost I have been exposed to inspiring and talented people who LOVE what they do and believe in the mission of eradicating domestic violence. I have been able to learn of some pretty awesome organizations in the Bay Area that help others in need. I have also been able to work the Latina Program and do some behind the scenes work with them.
4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
Even though I have been volunteering a somewhat short time, I know that this is manifesting into a life long career path. Working with clients and listening to their resiliency is an incredible motivator that has translated into my own life. It motivates me to work harder and to figure out strategies to tear down walls that have been blocking personal progress. Also, working with survivors has altered my perspective on humanity as well as how I approach the world and my appreciation for the gifts I have in my life.
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 would like to tell new volunteers and community members that are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N. Inc. to do it. With out a doubt, just do it. There is a tremendous amount of support and resources given to volunteers by the staff to deal with situations that are presented to you. All that said, when ever I tell people about my volunteer work, many comment on how they don’t understand how someone could be involved in this field, they wish they knew how people take the emotional toll, or they would like to get involved, etc. I love talking about my experience because there are a lot of misconceptions about domestic violence and the people who seek resources like W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s. This gives me the opportunity to speak of it and dispel a lot of the misinformation that perpetuates those misconceptions.
What the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team has to say about this stellar volunteer:
- “I appreciate her flexibility and willingness to go above and beyond to support LP survivors. She acts with great empathy and respect when working with survivors.”
- “I appreciate Aida’s work ethic. She’s shows up when she says she’s going to, is an excellent peer counselor, and is very committed to work we’re doing at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. As a volunteer who completed the last 40-hour training I’m impressed with her level of skills when working with community members impacted by domestic violence. Even when it comes to support line logistics, Aida knew what she needed to know when she first began volunteering on the line.”
- “I appreciate how involved Aida is; she connects to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. programs and projects and goes above and beyond her volunteer work on the support line and in the Latina Program.”