Inside Scoop: Getting to Know the First Domestic Violence Shelter. In this series, you will hear from the many different voices that encompass Women’s Advocates. You will be able to read direct quotes from our advocates to gain a deeper understanding of our shelter and about domestic violence advocacy. Learn more about the descriptions of the various advocates and team members by clicking here.
What keeps you motivated and energized to do this work?
Amy- Overnight Family Advocate
I am most motivated by my colleagues. They keep inspiring me to grow and to dig deeper into my skill-set as an advocate. I have learned so much from the women who I work with.
Another thing that energizes me is the long history of fierce advocacy the Women’s Advocates has. As I’m sure most folks reading this know, WA opened in 1974. That was a time my own mother was experiencing intimate partner violence, she had ended up in an emergency room with a broken jaw. She had no idea in those days that a place like WA existed. I think about what she went through, and what we as a family went through—and survived. It humbles me to be able to be here for families in similar circumstances. To provide them with the tools they need to reach safety and security.
Mary Beth- Crisis and Resource Advocate
A deep sense of obligation. As long as domestic violence is happening, as long as women are being hurt by those they trust and love, I will continue to do this work.
Saran- Mental Health Therapist
What keeps me motivated to do this work is the thought of dismantling the horrific impact of intimate partner violence precipitating negative intergenerational patterns of abuse and neglect. What keeps me energized is to help support people to be their own liberators. To unshackle themselves from toxic intergenerational patterns and encourage hope for a better tomorrow.
Kay- Family Advocate
I try to focus on the bigger picture and remember that the work we are doing is part of a larger movement to end relationship abuse and create safety. It also helps to be working with a team of coworkers that have energy, a great sense of humor, and who help me keep perspective on things that may seem challenging.
Nisha- Housing Advocate
Housing is such an important need. No matter anyone’s situation, everyone deserves housing. It’s an issue that I will continually advocate for.
Kelly- Children’s Advocate
Hope – Hope that I can be part of a positive experience for them – when they leave WA that they can think back and say “I remember I was there and there were a lot of people that helped me – not only was it fun … sometimes but I was also safe and was able to trust, knowing they were there for me every day I woke up!”
Jill- Crisis and Resource Advocate
I enjoy the fact that we can assist victims in reaching their goals in most cases.
Sam- Family Advocate
The little moments: when one of the young people in shelter yell my name across the shelter when they see me and wave hi; when one of the adults wants to sit down and tell me about their day. Seeing people grow and getting to be a part of the ups and downs of that process is so incredible. Can we also talk about that moment when a young person gives you a drawing or art project they made just for you? I can’t speak for anyone else, but that makes my week.
Brenisen- Education and Outreach Coordinator
The statistics about how many people experience and lose their lives to domestic violence is overwhelming, but they help keep me grounded in how big the scope of this issue truly is. Imagining the Target Field filled 17 times with just the women in Minnesota alone who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence reminds me that every second I spend shouting from the roof top that this matters and we can help to stop it, matters. Every small difference can snowball into making a tremendous impact on someone’s life.
JoAnn- Director of Operations & HR
There is a great energy at WA from our awesome team. Even though the work can be stressful, especially for the direct service folks, there is so much positivity, creativity, and warmth, that I look forward to going to work each Monday morning.