August Volunteer Spotlight: Anju

August 24, 2018

 

Strangely enough, my experience with Safe Harbor began with a bottle of fluorescent pink nail polish and a simple question. Across from me sat a 10 year-old girl whose life experiences were unlike my own. Her mother was a survivor of domestic violence and was currently living at the Safe Harbor shelter. This was my first introduction to volunteering at the shelter. In high school, I volunteered with a social service club that introduced students to various service opportunities within our community. On one such volunteering occasion, I landed at the Safe Harbor Shelter where we did Henna and painted nails of the residents. This is where I met 10 year-old ‘Gina’, a vivacious and optimistic young lady. Together, we painted each other’s nails and played on the playground. At the end of my shift, ‘Gina’ asked if I would return next week, sadly I hadn’t planned too, but as I sat in my car, I could not answer the question “why not? ”. So when I was given the opportunity to complete an internship at a local non-profit through Furman University, I felt it had to be at Safe Harbor.

Through this internship, I have connected with other businesses, volunteers, organizations, and offices to promote awareness about domestic violence and share the services that Safe Harbor provides. I have felt welcomed and at home at the community gatherings I have attended and learned much about the diversity of culture that surrounds South Carolina. I have seen that victims of domestic violence can come from all socio-economic strata and have met many who have shared their struggles, their bravery, and recovery. It is an honor to be entrusted with the stories of their lives.

Volunteering and spreading the mission of Safe Harbor has been my way of supporting this cause. Supporting Safe Harbor can be done in many forms. Simply, equipping yourself with knowledge about domestic violence and Safe Harbor’s services can help many. Active awareness that domestic violence exists and may exist around you is the easiest way to help. Being able to carry the message and vision of Safe Harbor has enriched my life and given me a newfound purpose.

Anju Saxana

Furman University Student

Safe Harbor Volunteer/Intern

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“I didn’t know that I was being abused...

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth

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When you give to Safe Harbor, 84 cents of every dollar goes directly to our intervention services and prevention initiatives to break the cycle of domestic violence in the Upstate of South Carolina. 

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We are available to provide domestic violence education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.

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