Get to know Gender Violence and Social Change intern, Mary Stoney!

What do you miss the most about your hometown when you’re at UVA?
I definitely miss movie nights with my family and dogs the most. My brother, sister and I usually end up having to sit on the floor because our dogs are such princesses that they have to have the whole couch.

Why are you passionate about the Women’s Center?
I have always been passionate about working with victims of domestic violence. In my hometown, Fairfax, VA, I have been working with Domestic Violence Action Center as a volunteer for a number of years. DVAC is an amazing organization that, among other things, sends court advocates and provides therapy for victims of domestic violence. Most of the people involved in DVAC work for the Office for Women in Fairfax or the Women’s Center. Last summer, I was invited to work with a new DV organization in Bolivia called Fundacion Patricia – Mi Cuerpo, Mi Tesoro. That experience was incredible, as it opened my eyes to the universality of domestic violence, but it also showed me that DV manifests itself differently in different countries and cultural contexts and that it is incredibly important to be sensitive to those differences. I love working with the Women’s Center, especially with the Gender Violence Social Change team, because I get to continue that work. The Women’s Center has also allowed me to work for victims in ways that I had not yet experienced. I now work as an activist, helping organize campaigns, like the Red Flag Campaign and Domestic Violence Awareness Month both to prevent domestic violence from occurring and to show widespread, rather than individual, support for victims. I have also been fortunate enough to be able to work with the Men’s Leadership Project through the Gender Violence Social Change team. I have never worked with a large group of men working with gender issues, and it is incredibly empowering. Without the Women’s Center, I would not have been able to expand my work in this way.

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I try to eat vegan whenever I can, though I have to admit that pizza is my weakness.

What is your favorite U.Va Tradition?
I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Good Old Song. My parents were both Hoos, so I’ve known it forever.

If you had access to a time machine, where and when would you go?
I would love to see some dinosaurs! Provided I wouldn’t be eaten by a T-Rex.

What’s a fun fact you’d like people to know about you?
I love working with people, kids especially, and this year I became a ski instructor with Wintergreen. It’s been so much fun, everyone should come before all of the snow melts!