By Jenn Rockefeller
Visionary. Hardworking. Creative. Inspirational. These are just some of the words that Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence founder Kristen Faith used to describe our April Volunteer of the Month.
Brian Nguyen, the Social Media Director, joined BTSADV about three years ago and, as Kristen explained, “paved the way for what our social media platforms have become today. His colorful personality brings so much life and meaning to the work we do.”
Brian’s passion for helping others has served him well his whole life, especially in college. “After graduating college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life, but I knew I wanted to do something that will help others and make an impact and difference in not only someone else’s life but my own as well,” he said.
Brian discovered his niche was in social media and how he could connect with others, tell a story and start a dialogue.
“What I love about social media is the power that it has to not only connect people, but the ability it has to raise awareness, educate, and empower individuals. Hearing about Kristen’s story and why she started the organization really resonated with me. I wanted to take her voice and amplify it to empower other survivors of domestic violence to break their silence and educate others who are on their personal journey to understanding what domestic violence is,” he explained.
In his three years with BTSADV, his vision to help lead the social media team into the next realm took shape. He proposed ideas and strategies and took the goals he envisioned to bring the social media team to new heights.
And those heights are being noticed! Below is just a sampling of people who have received support from BTSADV. As Kristen explained, that support “wouldn’t be possible without the leadership and dedication of our social media director and his vision for our team.”
“I was grateful to find this group. It made me feel okay, knowing that these range of emotions we feel after leaving an abusive relationship is ‘normal.’ I feel braver and more motivated to heal,” said Marisa.
Miss Smith agreed. “Finding this group helped me to realize that I was not alone! The posts give me hope and help me to realize that my emotions are normal,” she said.
“I’ve found a safe place to ask questions, speak up and be heard. I’m so appreciative of this group and when I feel as though I might be able to help someone, I try. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from all on here,” said Siobhan.
“I appreciate the sense of not being alone. To be validated. That my story is not just lies. That the residual emotional toll is real, not just an excuse. That the trauma was real, the fears are real. Because outside of this group my story is just too uncomfortable for others to want to hear. They can’t relate,” said Clarice.
Jen agreed. “I finally felt like I wasn’t alone and wasn’t crazy. Other people knew what I was talking about and had similar experiences. I found the courage to find my voice and break my silence.”
If there’s one thing that all these survivors agreed on, it’s this: without the social media presence that BTSADV has had, they would not have been able to receive the love and support they needed.
Zen said, “I’m thankful this group is here because it’s a safe, online domestic violence support group. This can be a good first step for victims and survivors towards their healing. Hopefully, everyone can find a support group in their area to go to, but if that isn’t an option, then this is great for them to have. I no longer go to my old support group, so this is nice to keep perspective on what I’ve been through, my progression in my healing and the ability to support and encourage others who are experiencing what I have already gone through. My life is now in service to help other survivors and I love that this organization shares that vision too.”
That service to help others is evident in the way Brian has streamlined efforts to bring forth a platform that would allow survivors to feel safe in sharing their stories. “As an organization, we’ve streamlined a lot of our communication efforts, and in doing so, made it easier for survivors to break their silence against domestic violence and sharing it with other survivors and advocates. We’re working hard every day to keep our audience engaged on our platforms with the latest news, stories, and resources about domestic violence.”
Thanks to Brian and his dedication, BTSADV is reaching even more survivors than ever. Congratulations Brian on being named Volunteer of the Month. We couldn’t do this without you.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, visit: https://www.breakthesilencedv.org/volunteer/