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 do you want people in the community to know about your work or about the people that you work with?
Women’s Advocates is a domestic violence shelter filled with a dynamic, compassionate, and caring team. Here is what some of us would like the community to know or be reminded of during this time as it pertains to our work:
Mary Beth- Crisis and Resource Advocate
I’m going to answer these last two questions together. A comment I hear a lot from the community (folks who are not involved with shelters or domestic violence work) goes something like “oh my goodness, that must be so hard/you’re such an angel/I could never do that/your work is so needed.” And yes, the job is hard sometimes, and the work is needed! But I want people to know that it doesn’t take anything special or superhuman to be an advocate. We all have that in us. Nobody at Women’s Advocates is a saint or an angel (although sometimes we make little miracles happen for people)- we’re just people who are going to work. Anyone who cares and is willing to learn can be an advocate.
Nisha- Housing Advocate
I want people in the community to know that no one is perfect. When I talk to landlords and tell them where I work and what I do many of them have concerns about me potentially moving someone in who may not be that great of a tenant or neighbor. This is one thing I like to stress in the Housing Group to everyone. Coming to the group will earn you a housing certificate to show the things you have learned and why you’re ready to live in the community and be a great neighbor and tenant. Most people are just surviving life. Some things weren’t taught and they had to find them out on their own. Attending groups helps everyone get a little more insight on things they may not have known before. With that being said I want the community to know everyone deserves housing and their background shouldn’t be a reflection of them today.
Kelly- Children’s Advocate
Our job is never done and we need all the support we can get for our families . Especially our CHILDREN, they always seem to be on the back burner in all of this and I would want them to know how important it is that they are brought to the front of this fight. Children are individuals that have needs in this trying time. They need more services and programming. They need everyone in their corner right now helping them. They are our future and we have them at a critical time where we can give them tools in order for them to come ahead of this, but everyone needs to help … EVERYONE! I look at our staff and see strength and support. We are like family and that is a concrete foundation that Women’s Advocates was built on. It shows in the work we do in the community and in house.
Brenisen- Education and Outreach Coordinator
I would like people in the community to know that my work is important. It does not have to impact someone you know directly for you to care. This work is intertwined and embedded in so many other systems and issues that impact individual and community level wellbeing. Domestic violence is not just domestic violence. It is a public health crisis that disproportionately affects marginalized individuals and is linked to other types of violence and harm that prevents us from being our best selves. It is connected to everything. And it is certainly not an issue that only concerns those involved and is certainly not an issue that remains in the privacy of a home. Survivors are incredibly strong, intelligent, resourceful, and compassionate.
Saran- Mental Health Therapist
I offer mental health wellness for body, mind, and spirit. I provide individual and family therapy to women and children who have been directly affected by domestic violence. I use several therapeutic models to explore emotional functioning, insight into belief systems and perceptions, individuals’ inner strength, and goal setting. The goal of therapy is to improve coping skills, develop new ways of working through problems, enhance self-confidence, and strengthen resilience.
JoAnn- Director of Operations & HR
I work with some of the smartest people I have ever met – throughout all levels of our organization. We are united in our passion to walk with victim-survivors of domestic violence.
Jill- Crisis and Resource Advocate
Women’s Advocates has a dynamic, compassionate, caring staff.
Amy- Overnight Family Advocate
I love that Women’s Advocates shines a spotlight directly on issues of family violence. We are here. We will help you. Reach out to us! We care deeply about you and what you’re going through.
Sam- Family Advocate
Domestic violence can happen to literally anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, zip code, it could happen to any of us at any time. So the people we serve aren’t somehow “lesser” than any of us. Any of us are one decision away from being in their position. Additionally, doing this work doesn’t make me some sort of saint. It is so frustrating when I tell people what I do and they say something like “wow, I couldn’t do that” or “that’s great you’re doing that, it’s such important work”. Don’t put us up on a pedestal like that.
Kay- Family Advocate
I want people to know how many obstacles victim-survivors have overcome to get where they are today and how much they want to have a safe and stable home for themselves and their children.