Welcome to the blog for The Voice of Love, dedicated to trauma-informed interpreting.
The blog has a special focus: interpreting for survivors of torture, war trauma and sexual violence. It also addresses interpreting and gender-based violence. The blog will explore the intimate connections between language, culture and trauma. It will share tips, resources and strategies to support trauma-informed interpreting.
This blog is written by “VOL” friends and board members who share a passion for this beautiful work. If you have stories, research or articles to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most interesting things about The Voice of Love is the story of its name.
I am Marjory Bancroft: the founder of The Voice of Love (VOL). I gave VOL its name. For years, no one asked me why. In the summer of 2009, I first approached two national U.S. figures in the field of medical interpreting to ask what they thought about the idea of founding this organization—and whether its name was peculiar.
They both said, “Sounds great, sign us up!” They didn’t ask about the name. For years I waited for someone to ask, “Marjory—why did you call this organization The Voice of Love”? And no one did.
Fast-forward five years. Last June, VOL held another session of our key program, Healing Voices, a five-day training on how to interpret for survivors of torture, war trauma and sexual violence—the most specialized training of its kind in the world. A staff member at a community health center in Washington, DC attended. She asked, “Marjory, why is it called ‘The Voice of Love’? By then, I’d given up thinking anyone would!
She is still waiting to hear the answer. It isn’t easy to explain the name: I have spent months looking for the words. So here, for everyone who cares to know, are the three reasons why this organization was named The Voice of Love.
- Reason #1: The conscious reason I gave VOL its name is that I sit on the board of a torture treatment nonprofit in Washington, DC and Baltimore: Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma. I was (and am) deeply impressed by the compassion and dedication of the therapists and service providers at ASTT. They are an incredible inspiration, especially their founder, Karen Hanscom. These specialists balance professionalism with compassion. They speak with the voice of love.
- Reason #2: My mother died in June 2009. She was distant and cool, the product of severe abuse by her own mother. Yet after she died, for weeks I felt her loving presence. Knowing she hadn’t given me love, she seemed to ask me what I wanted from her now; I said I wanted to help torture survivors. Then I felt her give me the idea for VOL: the greatest and most loving gift she ever gave me. Once I pursued the organizational path to VOL, her presence left and never returned. (This may be my imagination, of course: I am just reporting what I felt.)
- Reason #3: This reason did not occur to me until after VOL was long established, but it may have percolated from the deepest areas of my subconscious. I can’t say. The facts: my greatest trauma occurred when I was a young teen. When it happened I thought I heard a voice—an affectionate male voice—call my name in a way that resonated in me, as if to carry me through pain and to protect me. The voice of love. Perhaps, again, this was my imagination, but decades later remembering that voice became a key part of my own healing.
You can see, even in the story of VOL’s name, the intimate relationship between language, love and healing.
In short, I stand in awe of everyone involved in services to survivors of torture, war trauma and sexual violence: the service providers, the interpreters and above all the survivors. This blog is for you all. We salute your passion, embrace your healing mission and your gift for transcending darkness. We thank you, from the heart, for the beautiful work you do.
And of course my deepest thanks to everyone in VOL!
The Voice of Love (VOL) is a 501(c)(3) registered charity based in the United States.
Founded in 2011, VOL represents the only nonprofit in the world dedicated exclusively to developing training for trauma-informed interpreting, with a focus on interpreting for survivors of torture, war trauma and sexual violence.
For more information, please visit our website at www.voice-of-love.org. If you enjoy this blog, please consider subscribing to our monthly newsletter by signing up at www.voice-of-love.org. You can also donate on the website: no contribution is too small, and every donation helps this amazing work!