Category: Success Stories

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Virginia Godina-Ortiz’s Success Story

At our Hope Luncheons on April 21st and 28th, we welcomed Virginia Godina-Ortiz to share her personal story, from her experience with Advocates Against Family Violence and using our services. As we welcomed a group to introduce them to what AAFV is and does, she shared how domestic violence affected her and how our organization helped changed her life.

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Hi, My name is Virginia Godina-Ortiz. I’m a mortgage loan officer for BOTC and have been in the banking industry for the last 25 years. Most importantly I wanted to let you know the reason I support and help this organization as much as I do. Whether it’s to help at the Walk of Hope or help with the Faces of Hope Luncheon or to sponsor an event like this one, I try to be as helpful as possible; and I’ll tell you why.

I was a victim for 18 years, scared to go home after work. I wondered if I was being followed by my ex-husband or if he was going to get home drunk. I worried about work the following day. Will I have to call in sick? Will I have to cover any bruises up?

His concern was that if I worked and earned my own money and have contact with the public I would have the courage to leave him. He made it very hard to continue my career in the banking industry. It was so hard, but I made it. I did everything possible to keep working hard and climb the ropes.

I remember calling in sick a few times because the bruises were just too visible and too dark to cover up with make-up. What was I going to say at work? Of course, I would make something up to say. “I was playing with my kids and I got hit with the ball” that was my favorite. So my co-workers believed my “stories” and pretty soon I had a nickname. My nickname became “Rocky” and to this day, I still have that nickname. Its funny now, but I’ll tell you what; it wasn’t funny then.

I’m not a victim any longer, but a survivor. A survivor because I had the support I needed to get me past all of the negativity and the control he had over me. I had great support from family and good friends. I believe that the services that are provided today by this awesome organization are amazing. If I had the same resources back in my day, I’m confident to say that I wouldn’t have been in this abusive relationship for 18 long miserable years.

Lastly, I encourage you to help, support and become an ambassador of this great organization and become involved. There are many ways to help. Domestic violence knows no race, age or financial stability. It’s really hard to face alone. Although together with your help, we can all make an impact. I’m so proud to be a part of this organization and you will be too.

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Special thank you to Virginia for speaking at our Hope Luncheons on April 21st and 28th and Bank of Cascades for sponsoring the Luncheons!

Bank of Cascades
Read more Success Stories

Success Story

Belia Paz

Belia Paz

Belia Paz’s passion for life is unmatched! As a radio host for La GranD, she is the voice for victims providing resources and encouragement! AAFV is honored to have her on our Board of Directors, leading and directing the Organization.

What is your passion for Advocates Against Family Violence?

The passion for me is being part of the end of shame, violence and abuse altogether. I’m grateful to be working towards this day with AAFV. I am constantly inspired by all the members & staff of AAFV who turn towards these issues with such passion, creativity, positivity and determination. It is a privilege to be part of an Organization that is a voice for those who have remained silent for so long. I believe AAFV is moving closer to the day when sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse are no more. AAFV has a great team to help lead this social transformation.

What inspired you to volunteer your time to Advocates Against Family Violence?

I am survivor, friend & family of survivors and current victims of domestic violence. I wanted to be part of an organization that builds a community which helps survivors heal and victims survive. The way I can personally do that is being part of the change and helping others get the resources that they need to get them out of a bad situation, I believe we all have a responsibility to build a community that helps survivors to heal and victims survive, I will be part of that responsibility.

I personally was a survivor of domestic violence, I had no help back then. I didn’t know where to go or who to talk to as I was very well known in the community. I was scared, ashamed and embarrassed to come out and tell my story to anyone. There were so many times that I would lie to protect him that it became a regular habit. I told lies that I fell and hit my head on the pavement, lies that I burned my hand making tortillas, lies that I can’t work because I was so sick, when in reality I had black eyes and bruises on my face.

It finally came to a stop, I became strong on my own. Many cannot do that on their own and need help and I want to help others avoid going through what I did. After 10 years, I moved to Boise and started fresh with my kids. I became a radio host on a Spanish radio station, I knew there was a purpose of being on air, I felt and knew that I had the responsibility to try and help others. God had led me here for a reason, after so many times close to death. For 10 years I had been a radio voice for the Hispanic women & Hispanic community. I have shared my personal stories of domestic violence, which led to other women speaking up and getting out of their situation. Many of the women who call me are still victims needing to talk to someone, needing words of encouragement to leave the situation. They call me on my phone anonymously to talk, still scared not knowing what to do. I am a true supporter for victims and survivors, I will do what seems impossible to help.

What is your personal vision for Advocates Against Family Violence?

My personal vision is to assist in the success of AAFV helping families get the healing, education and empowerment to have a better future. I am very proud to be part of an Organization that actively attempts to take steps to end violence as a community and Im especially proud to serve on the board.. THANK YOU AAFV FOR HAVING ME BE A PART OF YOUR TEAM!

– Belia Paz

Success Story

Aleshea Boals

Aleshea L. Boals is a Victim Witness Coordinator with the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office. She has worked with crime victims for the last 19 years in Utah and Idaho. Aleshea has worked in both prosecutor and law enforcement offices. Aleshea began her career at the Utah County Children’s Justice Center as a Victim Witness Coordinator supporting child sexual abuse victims. She moved back to Idaho and worked at the Canyon County Prosecutors’ Office as a Victim Witness Coordinator working violent crimes. Aleshea was one of the founding Board Members for Advocates Against Family Violence.

Aleshea Boals

After having twins, Aleshea worked part time for MADD Idaho. While at MADD, she co-created NetVMS, an online victim management software. This program is used by many victim service providers throughout Idaho. In 2006, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office asked Aleshea to create the Canyon County Victim Witness Unit. Aleshea works to provide excellent victim services to current victims of crime as well as to victims of crime whose cases have yet to be resolved. Her work includes a Cold Case Warrants Taskforce, which serves victims of crime who have unsolved cases. She also co-created the DVD “Like Father Like Son- A Tribute to Canyon County Victims of Domestic Violence.” Aleshea spearheads the annual “Riverbilly: Dancing in the Dirt” at the Snake River Stampede Rodeo. This event celebrates bravery of domestic violence survivors and law enforcement.

Aleshea Boals - Received the Soroptimist Ruby Award

Aleshea received the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Outstanding Work to Improve the Lives of Women and the Award of Excellence for Outstanding Victims Services from the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia College and an Associate’s Degree in Political Science from BYU Idaho. Aleshea is married to Ken Boals and they have four children and reside in Meridian, Idaho.

Aleshea Boals - Domestic Abuse Survivor

What is your passion for Advocates Against Family Violence?

When I began working as a Canyon County Victim Witness Coordinator in 1999, I worked my first domestic violence case. I kept thinking “if it’s so bad, why doesn’t SHE leave?” Obviously, I needed training!

I went to my first training and began to understand the cycle of violence. After a few years of working with domestic violence victims and understanding the obstacles that each of one of them faced, I felt an overwhelming desire to do something that could help.

One particular victim made an impression on me. She would not leave her spouse because she had a 13 year male old child and could not move into the shelter with a 13 year old boy. I felt outraged. Why would a victim need to choose between her own safety and being with her child?

It was after a few cases like these that I, along with many passionate people, began to see a need for a shelter in Caldwell. I was privileged to be part of that initial board that dreamed of having a place for victims that would take them with all their issues and help them become survivors. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it really would be a great dream or if it could become a reality. I’m happy to know that many amazing employees and volunteers over the years have kept the dream alive and Advocates Against Family Violence is thriving as a result of that work.

What inspired you to volunteer your time to Advocates Against Family Violence?

Over the years, I have seen AAFV grow. Through the good and the bad, AAFV’s passion has been the same – to be a part of a victim’s solution. I wanted to volunteer my time again because I have could see the dedication of the employees and the survivors. I wanted to be a part of the good work that is happening at AAFV. I understand what victims need and I know that AAFV will be there to provide compassion, education and a warm bed when a victim needs it.

What is your personal vision for Advocates Against Family Violence?

I hope to continue the good work that AAFV has been known for and also help guide the organization’s stability for the future. I hope that long after we are all gone, AAFV will continue to be a beacon of hope for victims in need.

– Aleshea Boals

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