#PowerfulWomenProfile features strong, powerful women that inspire.
Kristen Paruginog is the Founder of Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence, a non-profit organization.
In her mid-twenties Kristen has already accomplished a lot, most of it based on a foundation of giving, but all that she has built at such a young age did not come without struggle. Kristen is a survivor. Once a victim of domestic violence, she posted her restraining order against her now ex-boyfriend on social media in an attempt to "break the silence" and got an outpour of response from the public so great that she ended up turning her Facebook page into a foundation. BTS, short for Break the Silence, now has over 38K followers and is one of the leading domestic violence organizations in the Bay Area, based out of San Diego. BTS and Kristen have been featured in multiple big-name publications and national news channels. Kristen is also a Red Cross Humanitarian Recipient, so it was a no brainer for us to reach out to her and feature her as one of our powerful women!
10 Questions for Kristen Paruginog:
Name/Nickname: Kristen Paruginog, KBoss by BTS, KP by family
DOB and Sign: July 8, Cancer
Your favorite feature according to yourself: My heart. I love giving and love making people feel loved.
If you could share a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be and why? Ellen DeGeneres! I absolutely love her and have been watching her show for the last 8 years. I love her kind spirit and personality.
What is THE ultimate quote you live your life by, if you could only choose one? "Anything is possible if you believe."
Tell us about a challenging time in your life: The most trying time in my life has to be when I was 18-22 years old. I was a broken, lost, insecure, and confused young woman. I fell victim to domestic violence and damaged my self-esteem and embarked on a journey that would essentially change my life forever.
If someone was going through the same thing right now, what would you tell them? I would tell them, “you are not alone”. I thought I was alone and nobody would understand my struggle, so I kept silent about it. The friends I told some details to were also in an abusive relationship, and I thought this was "normal." Abuse in any form is not normal, and there is help out there!
What is the most exciting thing you've done in your life so far? New York City 2015-- hands down! The most amazing memory to date has to be when I did a photoshoot for Glamour Magazine inside 1 World Trade Center. This was so incredibly epic on so many levels and such a moving experience to be there.
Something you wish people knew about survivors and domestic violence? I wish they realized that anyone can fall victim to domestic violence. I wish people stopped blaming the victim for staying, instead they should blame the source - the abuser. I wish people realized it’s judgmental and often triggering to ask, "why don't you just leave." It's not that easy!
Through your tragedy, what was the biggest lesson you've learned? I learned that my past made my journey full of meaning and purpose. If I didn't experience the things I have, BTS would not have been created. My story unfolded the future of domestic violence. BTS will be the catalyst in ending domestic violence.
For more information on Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, their nationwide campaigns, and services visit www. breakthesilencedv.org