FVPC is dedicated to serving Orange County with a variety of services. Our focus is not only on serving clients directly but also through community education. And we couldn’t do all of the community education we do without volunteers! Nancy Foy is one of our community educators and she is this month’s “Volunteer Spotlight”:
How long have you been volunteering at FVPC?:
I have been volunteering with the center for about 2 years.
Why do you volunteer with FVPC?:
I was drawn to working with the center because of my personal experience with
domestic violence – I was in an abusive relationship for 25 years, 20 of them married to my abuser. The community education work that I do satisfies my need to work towards bringing domestic violence out of the shadows. I strongly believe that as long as domestic violence is a hidden epidemic in our society, the opportunities to decrease the incidence of it and to lessen its impact are limited.
The impact of domestic violence on children is one of my deepest concerns. I witnessed the damage that it did to my daughters and have worked hard to help them process and heal that damage, but it is still evident in their lives and how they react and respond to people and circumstances. It is heartbreaking and frustrating to me that these innocent victims continue to suffer even after they are released or escape from the abusive environment.
What have you learned about yourself or others by volunteering here?:
Community education gives me the opportunity to reach out to the women and men who may be in an abusive situation or to groups that may be in a position to effect change, and relate to them by describing my experiences and the fear and helplessness that it created and that crippled me for years. This work has given me many things: opportunities to express my concerns and feelings, knowledge of the issues, understanding that I am not alone in my experience and an ability to see the larger picture and the greater need which has a dual benefit as it has released me from my years of victimhood and made me a survivor.
What happens next for you?:
My work with the center coincided with my return to school for a degree in Psychology which I expect to complete next year. I plan to go into a Master’s program in either Community Counseling or Social Work and work in domestic violence prevention at some level.
What would you tell perspective volunteers?:
What I would tell volunteers is that this work is immeasurably rewarding as it allows you to be an agent for change – by supporting individuals, educating communities and perhaps even in our laws. I am grateful to have met the incredible people that I have – the audiences that I speak to, the volunteers at the center and the supportive staff. I am especially excited about the number of young people who are so willing to put the time and energy into this work and the programs that are aimed at the youth in our schools to educate and inform them.
Thank you so much for all the work you do Nancy!