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Destiny, age 59

Being a victim advocate has been my life’s work. I was inspired to follow this path after I received services from an advocate when my children were very young and I was in an abusive situation. My caseworker showed me that if I could make a better life for myself, I would be making a better life for my children. 

One of the first cases I was assigned after I became an advocate still sticks with me to this day. The woman I was helping had been beaten so severely and I truly believed that if she remained in that relationship, she would lose her life. Fortunately, we were able to get her a Protective Order and her abuser was criminally charged. She got out of the relationship, we enrolled her and her children in therapy, and she got a full-time job to support herself and her kids. After seeing how happy she was and how empowered she felt, I thought to myself: this is why I do what I do!  

To those suffering from abuse, I want you to know: you are not alone. Even if you think people will judge you or not understand you, the Family Justice Center is here to help regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, or religion. I myself have faced physical challenges my entire life and walk with a cane. Often times when I talk to the victims I work with about my disability, it helps encourage them to try to overcome the challenges that they are facing.  

I feel so blessed to have the career that I have, and to have met and assisted so many people in my community. I want everyone to remember: domestic violence can happen to anyone, and there is always help for those who need it! 

Do you have a story to share about domestic violence? You can submit it here (you will remain anonymous).