BWJP Welcomes Irene Avina, as the new Project Assistant of the Firearms Technical Assistance Project (FTAP)

Irene Avina joins BWJP with a passion and dedication to the field of gender-based violence prevention. As a licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Irene has spent the past several years working directly with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in crisis intervention, safety planning, education, and trauma processing. Her work in this capacity allowed her to engage in community outreach, emphasizing the importance of empowering survivors, fostering connections, and creating an environment of understanding and support around issues related to gender-based violence. Recognizing the intersection of mental health and collective well-being, Irene is committed to addressing the holistic needs of survivors. She brings a nuanced understanding of the impact of trauma on mental health and advocates for initiatives that contribute to the overall healing and resilience of individuals and communities affected by gender-based violence.

“Irene's passion and dedication in community outreach makes her a valuable addition to our team. Her impressive work with survivors demonstrates her dedication to gender-based violence prevention. We look forward to Irene's contributions to this team." - Amy J. Sánchez, CEO BWJP 

Meet Irene: 

Q: What brought you into the field of gender-based violence? 

My personal experience as a survivor has led me into this field. My educational journey in social work started with a focus on foster care and adoption, where I served as a case manager. Over time, I transitioned into the role of a therapist at a Rape Crisis Center. This shift allowed me to witness the intricate ways in which our systems often overlook survivors in their pursuit of safety and closure from trauma. This realization has become a driving force, motivating me to consistently seek opportunities for learning and growth in order to enhance my ability to support survivors in this vital work.

Q: What drew you to BWJP? 

What initially drew me to BWJP was their commitment to maintaining an intersectional lens that prevents further harm for historically marginalized communities. This aligns with my own perspective on this work, and I firmly believe that embracing this approach is crucial in in doing this work.

Q: What are you most looking forward to working at BWJP?    

I am excited to explore the intricacies of how our systems, particularly our court and legal systems, affect survivors. I am also eager to learn from and collaborate with members of my team.

Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of work? 

In my free time, I engage in expressive arts such as painting, collaging, drawing, clay work, and writing. I have a passion for music and often attend concerts with loved ones. Above all, I love spending time with my partner and cat.

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