Since the month of March is International Women’s Month, each week CALCASA will highlight some of the extraordinary commitments of the women in this office.
When Cindy Marroquin was a little girl, she wanted to be a dancer when she grew up. She didn’t intend to work in the violence against women movement, but since 2002 when she fell into this work, she said she can’t imagine doing anything else. She entered the rape crisis movement in 2002 as a volunteer at Haven Women’s Center in Modesto, Calif. She worked in various capacities at the center — prevention educator, SART team and working with child survivors — before she came to CALCASA in 2008 as its Advocacy Services Coordinator.
Her role at CALCASA is crucial for maintaining relationships and building capacity with rape crisis centers in the state of California. At heart, she is an advocate, and this is clear in her job at the agency and by her nature. She said that this isn’t the kind of job where she can clock out at the end of the day. She’s always looking for ways to increase her awareness and to have meaningful conversations with others about issues surrounding sexual violence.
“This work is not just rhetoric,” said Marroquin. “I actually believe in the work. Outside of work, I strive to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. If I believe in being an ally, then I believe in being an ally when I’m not at work. I try to work hard to keep my ally card — and sometimes, it can get revoked because I’m not perfect. But I’m conscious that these are the things that I believe in, and I don’t leave it at work when I leave work.”
Cindy said that even though she’s not directly working with survivors, she still feels like she’s making a difference in the lives of survivors. She provides resources and support to advocates in the field that are working with survivors. And instead of working in one community, she’s able to work with people in areas across the state where at the end of the day, it’s still about the survivors. As she continues to do this work, she hopes that she’s able to challenge the norm.
“In the process of challenging people, I hope I get them to think outside of the experiences that they’ve had to give them another lens to view the world,” she said. “If it’s just one person who really took it to heart and used it to reflect upon themselves, that’s good enough for me.”