For a few months I have been thinking about taking on a new volunteering project. Last year and the year before that, I volunteered at the hospital in patient transporting. It was fun while I worked there and I enjoyed helping and talking to patients, staff, and other volunteers. Over the past year, I have decided that I want to keep taking on new volunteer work in areas of interest. I am happy to announce that I have found one that I am really excited to get started in. I signed up to be a caseworker for A Better Way Services here in Muncie, which is primarily a women’s shelter and domestic crisis center. I have heard about this place through the years but I didn’t investigate too much into it until recently. I had my interview last week and signed some paperwork. I will start my training after the 12th which is when I get back into town from visiting my mom. I’m not sure exactly what I will be doing but it sounds like a little bit of everything, probably taking crisis calls and visiting with the intakes and most likely other things too.
Here’s the thing, I chose to do this particularly because the issue of domestic violence is extremely important to me. I have never been abused by or been physically violent with a partner, but I will say that I have close family members who have been, which affected me and my family greatly. It goes as far back as I literally can remember, I would say about age 3, and it has been prominent on and off pretty much ever since. Let me also point out that alcohol was almost always present during these violent times. I don’t remember any time when it wasn’t. Things were fine when no one was drinking.
Throughout my young childhood all the way into recent adulthood, I went through a great deal of emotional anguish, and a whole lot of fear for the well being of my family. I would spend many sleepless, tearful nights wondering if anyone was going to be hurt, or even killed, what would happen to me and my sisters, and when this all would stop. I lost friends due to this. At 7 years old, I would literally jump in the middle to try to stop the fights and calm them down. Sometimes it helped, sometimes not. I wasn’t afraid for myself, I was more afraid for them. It was very rough and stressful for me at times. I wouldn’t wish for any family to go through this, and I vowed to never get into a relationship that turned violent. I never want any child of mine going through that.
So this subject is very personal to me, but I want to talk about it as a way to raise awareness and to help. This is not to “out” anyone. I love every single member of my family and they all love me. Maybe I will go into further detail about it when things progress, but I also want to respect the privacy of my family. I chose this because I want to take something that was negative throughout my life and turn it into something positive. I want to be able to help people who are in physically and mentally abusive relationships that want the help, and also the children involved. I have been following some blogs on domestic violence and doing a bit of research because I want to learn as much as I can and get involved within my own community and then maybe take it further even. I feel like I was meant to do this and I want this issue to be my main personal platform from here on out. I am committing myself to to this cause 100%. Any suggestions as far as reading material or actions I could take would be very appreciated. I will be following up on how my work goes when I start my training. Wish me luck!