It’s More Than Just Volunteering
Sometimes Serving Changes YOU
When you grow up in a family where domestic abuse is a regular occurrence, it can become an awful pattern throughout a person’s entire life. Anh was taught from an early age that the physical and verbal abuse from her stepfather was a normal part of life. This horrible cycle continued when Anh met her first boyfriend as a young teen and he too grew to become more and more emotionally, physically and sexually abusive. Anh was too ashamed to tell anyone. “One of the worst moments took place when out of a jealous rage, my boyfriend tried to hit me with a baseball bat,” said Anh.
Anh wanted to leave him but when she tried to move out her boyfriend climbed on the roof and threatened to commit suicide. Feeling guilty and believing she was still in love, she gave him another chance but nothing changed. After many more chances and attempts to leave, Anh finally moved to California on her own to leave her ex-boyfriend and her past behind.
Anh was able to break the cycle of violence and once in California, she began the process of healing and moving forward. She started seeing a therapist and decided to help other survivors. “I wanted to make something good out of my bad experiences. I reached out to AACI because I felt like I could make a difference by sharing my story,” said Anh.
Anh started volunteering at AACI Asian Women’s Home and helped provide training to new volunteers coming into the program. “It is so rewarding for me to be able to help women make healthy decisions as a volunteer at AACI,” said Anh.
Today, Anh is in a healthy and empowering relationship with a partner who gives her unconditional love and views her as his equal. She recently married him in his native country of Scotland. She also became the first in her family to graduate from college, and the first woman!
“It is so rewarding for me to be able to help women make healthy decisions today as a volunteer at AACI.”