Northeastern University’s associate professor of health sciences, Beth Molnar, was just bestowed with an honourable award for her consistent efforts to lend a helping hand to sexual violence victims. It was given to her by the New England Patriots Foundation, for giving support to those people through the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. It has been around two decades that Molnar has been doing all she could to help the Center. What’s more, she has been the president of the Board of Directors.
She first started volunteering in the year 1998, by actively providing 24-hour support to sexual assault survivors. For the initial seven years, she was the one to talk to the victims, answer their questions as well as take care of their medical and emotional needs. As a member of the board, the centre and the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) partnered on a campaign that created awareness among the local bartenders to be more active than just bystanders for their customers during such situations.
Molnar, in 2018, was honoured with Myra Kraft Community MVP Award from the Patriots Foundation. “Beth has been an integral BARCC (Boston Area Rape Crisis Center) volunteer for two decades and has left her mark both in our direct service work and in organisational leadership,” says Gina Scaramella. She is the centre’s executive director and is quite impressed by Molnar.
What drives Molnar to volunteer is because of her experience of being sexually assaulted in her 20s. She understood the importance of getting outside help to help heal the trauma and hence decided to become a volunteer. Molnar developed a toolkit at the University which helps professionals to ease the victims’ traumas. The toolkit is proving to be quite useful these days. “I feel very privileged that I’m able to combine my professional and volunteer community service worlds and that my life’s work in both capacities is about helping people with a history of trauma,” she said.