Who are the Response Advocates?
Our advocates are men and women from the community who are committed to our mission to support, educate and empower survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. They have completed a 30-hour intensive training program and provide essential program services.
Letter from a Response Advocate to new Advocates
I have been an advocate for almost two years. What I realized during my training, is that many people who do this advocate work, have been in a situation themselves. I think that helps them understand where the client is coming from. I fortunately was not one of them and that is okay too.
At first, I was curious about it. I was not sure if I would be able to help out as I didn't know how I would react. I did, after all burst into tears in the role plays due to my nerves.
Once I signed up for my first shift, I was so nervous to get a call. Then it came. It was such an icebreaker. I ended up having to conference in the Hope Center, as the client was thinking of hurting themselves. Since them, I have had some pretty intense calls. I have had to go the hospital on several occasions. One of the first things I do once meeting with a client, is ask if they would like a hug. Often that is what they want, a person who is there for them.
Every time I do get a call, my heart starts beating, FAST! I love the feeling of helping someone who, at that point, otherwise feels helpless. After a call, as silly as this sounds, I feel giddy. I think it is because of two reasons, one, my adrenaline is going crazy, and two, I just helped someone who needs it, someone who is at an extremely low point, who has probably been put down for the last few hours, days, weeks, months or even years.
A few days after the call, I reach out to Jill or someone in the office to follow up. I like to know if I could do anthing else for the client or if there is any feedback.
Lastly, be scared! I think if you weren't, something would be wrong. Let your emotions go as this will stir them up. Go with it! Go with your gut. We say we are confidential but one time I had to call the police to request a well-check after I was on a phone call with a client and we were disconnected. Be strong, follow your heart and you will do great.
I am here if you need anything or have any questions.