Meet a W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Volunteer: Samantha W.

1) How long have you been with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I’ve been with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. since 2014… around three years.

2) Tell us a little bit about yourself?
 I’m someone who loves traveling, reading, and eating my way through San Francisco. I’m looking forward to adding the role of mother to my life soon too.
3) What is your role and what opportunities have you been involved with at the organization?
As a front-line crisis worker [on the 24/7 Support Line], I have had opportunities to connect with callers who are looking for help. This can range from figuring out whether their relationships are abusive, looking for emergency shelter, to learning more about legal options that exist in the Bay Area. I have also had opportunities to connect with other dedicated volunteers at fundraising efforts such as W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s guest bartending nights.
4) What propelled you to volunteer with us & what motivates you to continue the anti-violence work you do?

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I started volunteering with an amazing anti-violence organization (Battered Women Support Services) in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. My training there profoundly impacted my life, and propelled me to get an education in counseling psychology. When I moved to San Francisco, I wanted to continue connecting with smart, badass individuals who approach anti-violence work from an intersectional stance.
Even if I can’t make the biggest financial donation or dedicate as much time as I would like, doing something small and regular does make a difference. My motivation to continue the anti-violence work can be summed up by Margret Mead’s quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

5) How has your involvement with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. impacted your life?
Volunteering with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has made me more thoughtful of and aware of my privilege. I want to use my influence to help create positive change with those I interact with on a day to day basis and community at large. I believe it has positively affected my existing relationships as well… being aware of societal influences and gender roles have helped me with my intimate partner dynamics and relationship and helped me to act and react in my healthy ways.

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6) Anything else you’d like the community to know about volunteering with W.O.M.A.N., Inc./working with survivors?
It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is: whatever ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education level, or sexual orientation, violence has an insidious way of affecting all of us. One in three women globally have experienced physical or sexual violence. I didn’t think I had enough of a claim to start volunteering with an anti-violence organization, but once I did, too many friends and family began to share their experiences of if not necessarily violent, then definitely unhealthy relationship dynamics.  Feminism and domestic violence might seem like daunting and unconquerable concepts at first (I know they did to me) but you can make a difference. If you have even the tiniest interest in getting involved, I would encourage you to just call in, find out how you can get started, and I’m positive it will be an enriching and eye-opening experience!

 

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