Friday, February 17, 2017

It's All Part of the Job

At a meeting this week, our staff talked about the universal experiences of being a person who works with victims of crime. All of our staff members agreed they had the experience of telling someone where they worked and having that person recoil and exclaim what a difficult job it must be. And it is. There is no doubt about that.

The other universal truth we discussed was hearing of a domestic violence homicide and checking whether you or a coworker had worked with the victim in the past and whether you were working with him/her currently. It’s the sad truth of the work that if someone has been in the domestic violence field more than a handful of years, chances are they have lost a client to homicide. It could be someone you worked with for months, just spoke with once, tried to call and never reached them, or had worked with several times over the years. The losses never get easier, in fact, for some of us, they get more difficult. It's all part of the job.

Some advocates burn out and leave the field. Some advocates burn out and stay in the field. Some find a way to be resilient through it all. One of the most important ways I have found to stay resilient is to focus on all the good that CVAC does. In 2016, CVAC served over 7,500 victims of crime and family members. For those clients, CVAC advocates, counselors, and lawyers provided:
  • assistance for 2,370 Order of Protection filings
  • accompaniment to 330 court hearings
  • legal representation at 149 court appearances
  • 1,023 hours of counseling services
  • 133 free notary services
There are also services too numerous to mention that improve the lives of our clients and help them to move from crisis to resiliency. In 2016, 91% of clients felt they had better knowledge of the resources available to them and 85% felt they could better plan for their safety after speaking with a CVAC advocate. This is also part of the job. This is the part of the job that makes going through everything else worthwhile.

Comments by Jessica M., Director of Community Engagement

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