A: I am Co-President of Voices Against Violence Student Organization and a Peer Supporter in Interpersonal Violence Peer Support.
How did you get involved in IPV work?
A: When I first came to UT, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to get involved in on campus, but I knew I wanted to do something meaningful that made a difference. As a freshman I joined a few different organizations, all of which I enjoyed, but found that the time I spent in Voices Against Violence (VAV) was the most fulfilling work I was doing. I decided I wanted to do more, so I joined Interpersonal Violence Peer Support (IVPS) going into my sophomore year (which is this year!).
What do you hope the impact of your work in IPV will be here at UT and beyond?
A: I think that there are a lot of amazing resources both on campus and in the Austin area for survivors of interpersonal violence (IPV), but they are often difficult for students to access, intimidating, or just plain confusing. I hope that through IVPS and VAV I can empower survivors by creating more accessible, supportive spaces. I believe that doing so helps to make the entire network of resources more accessible and empowers survivors by providing them with more options.
What has been your favorite experience working in the IPV field?
A: I love attending VAV’s annual survivor speak-outs, Breaking the Silence and Take Back the Night. I am always inspired by the bravery of survivors who come, whether they choose to share their stories or simply attend. The sense of community, empowerment, and resilience at these events is very special.
Do you plan to incorporate IPV work into your life even after you graduate? If yes, how?
A: I plan to go to law school after I graduate, so I would like to practice in a domestic violence clinic while I am there. I am not sure whether I will focus on IPV after earning my JD, but I hope to take pro bono IPV cases if not.
What keeps you going when IPV work gets hard?
A: I am lucky to work with other very passionate advocates who care a lot about the work and support one another. Reaching out to these support systems, as well as taking time to practice self-care at home helps me through difficult times.
Anything you would like to add?
A: There are so many resources on and off campus for students who have experienced IPV or who are concerned about any kind of interpersonal abuse or unhealthy relationship behaviors. There are also lots of ways to get involved in IPV advocacy on campus and in your everyday life. If you are interested in resources or advocacy, I wholeheartedly encourage you to pursue them.