Dear Domestic Violence Advocate, Never Doubt.

Testimonial-01“How was work today?”

What seems like a simple question for many can be rather loaded when posed to the domestic violence or victims’ advocate.  A day in the life of a DV worker can be both rewarding and maddening at the same time. Throughout the course of a shift, you can find yourself witness to life changing successes or agonizing defeats for those trying to escape unhealthy relationships. With a heavy heart, it is easy to wonder when injustice like relationship violence will end and if you are truly making a difference.

Recently, a client of Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA approached an advocate at the conclusion of her stay and asked to share her experiences. Taking to pen and paper, here is what she said…

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To all the staff and helper[s] who help out at the SWPADV shelter,

            Words simply cannot express my thanks to you all… you kept me safe, protected me, and guided me in the right direction. I thank you all for you[r] kindness, your wisdom, support and empower[ment] to fight for myself and my daughter.

            I know everyone is different but, my daughter and I had no family here and no place to go. The staff and helpers made us feel like this was a home. I think of some of you as very close friends – even family.

            I thank you for educating me – to know everything wasn’t my fault and I am not crazy! I am a much stronger person because of that. I want each of you to know – you all touch more lives than you know. You all have made a[n] everlasting impression on my daughter and I. You gave me the power to fight for what is right. To show my daughter I can be supermom, like she thinks I am. Also [to] show her a lady should be treated with respect and love – not just a doormat. I know my fight isn’t over, but I am on the right track and, I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you all for giving me the tools to carry on my fight. I will be forever grateful.

            So, if any of you ever have a bad day or ask yourself “why am I even doing this” –

It is because of people like me and my daughter.


God bless all of you and all that you do!

{Name Redacted}

You[’re] all amazing ladies! My deepest heartfelt thanks. Our time together happened because of a very grim reason, but you all made it better. Hope once I am gone, you will have a smile when you think of me.

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So on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we salute domestic violence and victims’ advocates around the world. We salute all civil rights humanitarians who punch the clock each day for the betterment of their fellow man and the world. We acknowledge and pay respect to those who have long passed before us standing resolute against injustice and working toward peace.

And to the victims of domestic violence and injustice we pledge to you that “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day!

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