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Advocate Spotlight: Advocacy & Me

Gunjan is a Sexual Assault Advocate with Tri-Valley HavenGunjan volunteers as Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven. As a volunteer, she meets with survivors of sexual assault to support them through the reporting process and provide them with resources.


Let me start by saying that working with survivors has been the most gratifying experience of my life. I have had quite a tough life myself and when I sought spiritual guidance, my Guru, my teacher, just told me one thing: Do selfless service – help somebody, anybody. And that’s when I found this amazing place called the “Tri-Valley Haven.”

After going through six months of rigorous training, I was still shaking on my first call at Highland Hospital in Oakland. I didn’t have a clue about my own course of action. I took a deep breath, went inside and every moment after that was just…. me being human. When I am with a survivor, their story becomes mine and their tears come rolling down my own eyes. But in return, my strength becomes their strength to come out of the trauma and take life with full stride, yet again.

Being an advocate has completely transformed me as a person. We all live sheltered lives and make our own small world, the focus of everything. As a sexual assault advocate, I stepped out of my shell and met some wonderful people, whom we refer to as “the survivors”. They are people like us, but life has put them in devastating situations and the least we can do is be there for them. Make them realize their own strength, which has been shadowed by some dark moments for a brief period in their lives.

I believe my job as an advocate is to be there for the Survivor unconditionally, help them revive their emotional strength, make them feel like they are in control and see them smile at the end of it all.


Sexual Assault Advocates must be at least 21 years old and complete a 65-hour training course at Tri-Valley Haven before volunteering. To learn about our advocacy services or other volunteer opportunities, visit our website www.trivalleyhaven.org

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Gunjan, this is beautiful!

    Reply
  2. Jean

     /  October 14, 2015

    We are so lucky to have you as the amazing advocate you are! Thank you so very much!!!

    Reply

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