Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?

What’s life like after a DC SAFE Internship? Find out what some of our amazing former interns are up to now. Don’t forget to apply for a DC SAFE internship today.

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Katharine Donohoe was a Development and Outreach Intern during the Summer of 2012.

What interested you about interning with DC SAFE?

“I think I was most interested in interning with SAFE because it combined two of my areas of study really well — communications (essentially) and women’s studies. Also, I had to meet an internship requirement for my major and also wanted to get a bit more ‘real world’ experience.”

What are you doing now?

“Currently, I’m a technical writer for Cvent, a SaaS (software as a service) company based in McLean. After graduating college in 2013, I also completed a development and events internship with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and worked for a start-up called Relay Foods. Also, I’m just about to start up as an online hotline volunteer with RAINN. ”

How did your work at DC SAFE impact your life?

“Working at SAFE impacted my life in that I don’t think I would have ever encountered so many talented, smart, and passionate women all in one place! Compared to my current work environment, I feel really glad that one of my first experiences in a professional setting was with SAFE; in that it was supportive, collaborative, but also incredibly focused and driven. Also, it just generally opened my eyes to a very real and serious issue that impacts so many members of the Washington, DC community that needs attention. I grew up in Arlington, Virginia but my family has long been in the Washington, DC area and I don’t know if I would have worked with the advocates and survivors that I did had I not interned with SAFE.”

What would you tell prospective interns and volunteers?

“I would tell prospective interns and volunteers that it truly is an amazing organization. As I’ve been writing out these responses, I’m remembering the people I got to work with and I’m just incredibly glad I got to do so the summer I interned. That said, I would also say to them, do more! Volunteer for more ride-alongs or anything else you can.”


 

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Audra Passinault was a Court Advocacy Program intern during the Summer of 2013.

What interested you about interning with DC SAFE?

“I was originally interested in interning with DC SAFE to gain an inside perspective on the challenges domestic violence survivors face when navigating the legal system.  As a law student, I wanted to understand the interactions survivors had with police, with the legal system and how I could become a meaningful advocate.”

What are you doing now?

Now I am finishing my last year at Notre Dame Law School.  This fall, I will begin my job with the Legal Aid Foundation in Chicago, working with immigrant populations, domestic violence victims and victims of human trafficking.”

How did your work at DC SAFE impact your life?

“Not only did I gain knowledge of the realities of domestic violence and the challenges our society has with meeting the needs of survivors, but I also came to truly appreciate the strength of the clients I served. I left DC SAFE inspired to continue my work as an advocate and armed with the experience necessary to combat the obstacles of domestic violence.  Also, learning from individuals who have dedicated their careers to service was encouraging and my mentor relationship with Erin Hill provided a great deal of validation and support.”

What would you tell prospective interns and volunteers?

“Being an advocate with DC SAFE was not always the easiest or most comfortable job, but I learned more about the legal system and social realities in this position than I had in any other job.  The staff is very supportive and takes a great deal of time helping you learn how to be an effective advocate and ensuring you are receiving invaluable hands-on experience. You will learn about the DC community, domestic violence trends nationwide, be on the forefront of domestic violence policy.”


 

elizabeth jahr

Elizabeth Jahr was a dual intern, working both on the Response Line and in our Court Advocacy Program, during the Spring of 2012.

What interested you about interning with DC SAFE?

“I was initially interested about working at DC SAFE because I wanted to pursue a career in law and thought an internship that related to the legal system would help me get some perspective. I had known a few people on my college campus that had been involved in dating violence, so I thought this would be a good way to give back to the community and start getting involved in legal work.”

What are you doing now?

“Now I work at Community Connections in Washington, D.C., which helps people (many of which are also very economically and socially marginalized) recover from mental health conditions. I am a community support specialist and provide services to consumers with a history of trauma.”
 

How did your work at DC SAFE impact your life?

“Once I started working at SAFE though I realized right off the bat that I didn’t want to pursue a career in law because what I liked most was working one-on-one with the survivors and empowering them to move forward. So interning at DC SAFE impacted my life a lot: it sent me on a completely different career path! It opened my eyes to so many of the overlapping challenges our economically disadvantaged clients faced and it made me want to build better communities.”
 

What would you tell prospective interns and volunteers?

“My advice to prospective interns and volunteers is to really listen to every survivor. I feel like working with them taught me so much and many of their stories still stick with me today. Interning at DC SAFE has a lot to offer and you will learn so much while you are there! I highly recommend it to anyone.”

 

Headshot Ellen HutchinsonEllen Hutchinson was the Lethality Assessment Project Intern during the Spring of 2013.

What interested you about interning with DC SAFE?

“I was a Political Science and Women’s Studies major. I really wanted to get my feet wet and have some real-world experience, and I felt the SAFE internship was a good way to combine my two majors. I also wanted an internship that would make a real impact, while giving me substantive experience.”

What are you doing now?

“I graduated from George Washington University in May 2014 and am now in my first year of law school at George Mason University.”
 

How did your work at DC SAFE impact your life?

 “I learned so much in my time at SAFE. I learned not only about procedural things–court proceedings, social services, MPD, etc.–but also about bigger and systemic issues surrounding domestic violence–socioeconomics, sex and gender, trauma informed care, safety and more. It also gave me a much greater appreciation for non-profits and the people who work for them. I met so many passionate people who cared so much about what they did and worked so hard to help their clients; it continues to inspire me.”
 

What would you tell prospective interns and volunteers?

“Every time I tell someone where I interned, they always say ‘Wow, that must have been tough.’ And the truth is that it was tough. But it was an incredible experience, and I learned so much. So I would tell prospective interns and volunteers not to be intimidated by the subject matter. We all felt nervous when we first started, but that goes away. And always keep in mind how important what you’re doing is.”

Advocates of the Month: July 2015

Advocates of the Month: July 2015

DC SAFE’s Bilingual Advocates are the Advocates of the Month!

 DC SAFE’s Bilingual Advocates provide services for Spanish speaking domestic violence survivors at SAFE Space shelter, The District of Columbia’s two Domestic Violence Intake Centers, The Response Line, and through On-Call Responses for victims in crisis.
Immigrant domestic violence victims face many barriers to seeking safety for themselves and their children, including fear of deportation, fear of law enforcement, and language barriers. DC SAFE’s Bilingual Advocates help survivors meet their individual needs so they can become safe and empowered.

The District of Columbia is home to large and diverse immigrant communities, the largest of which are Latino/Latina immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.  In fact, this group makes up 13% of the District’s overall population. Last year, DC SAFE provided services for more than 350 Latina survivors.

Thank You for Keeping DC SAFE

Thank You for Keeping DC SAFE

Last week was National Volunteer Week recognizing the important contributions that volunteers make throughout the year.

DC SAFE is fortunate to have the dedication of community members who serve as Court Watch Program Volunteers and Response Line Volunteers.

In just this last year, Response Line volunteers volunteered for a total of 1,266 hours providing crisis intervention and advocacy for survivors. Volunteers also went on Ride Alongs with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and provided in-person services for survivors at the scene of crimes.

Thank you for volunteering your time to make a difference for survivors! Volunteers are an essential part of DC SAFE’s mission and we could not do what we do without the dedication of our volunteers.

If you’re interested in learning more about DC SAFE’s volunteer program or about finding out how you can become a volunteer, you can find information here.

 

Advocates of the Month: April 2015

Advocates of the Month: April 2015

DC SAFE’s Shelter Advocates are the Advocates of the Month!

Hanaleah and Elizabeth serve as advocates at SAFE’s crisis shelter for domestic violence survivors, SAFE Space. As Shelter Advocates, Hanaleah and Elizabeth provide services and advocacy for survivors and children staying at the shelter and help survivors meet their long-term housing goals.

During just last year alone, more than 750 survivors and children came to SAFE Space. DC SAFE’s Shelter Advocates play an important role in empowering survivors to reclaim their lives after domestic violence.

In addition, both Hanaleah and Elizabeth provide supportive advocacy for survivors at D.C.’s two Domestic Violence Intake Centers and serve as a resource for other Advocates working with survivors who have housing-related questions.

Domestic Violence and the Elderly

Domestic Violence and the Elderly

Domestic violence can happen to anyone and elderly populations are no exception. 90% of elderly domestic violence victims are abused by a family member* and specifically 2/3 of victims are abused by spouses or children**.  Since 2005, DC SAFE has provided crisis intervention and advocacy services for more than 950 elderly survivors.

As part of an ongoing project with the DC Courts, DC SAFE, alongside Assistant Attorney General Sarah Connell, trained more than 100 community members at the District of Columbia Guardianship Assistance Program’s Seventh Annual Guardianship Conference. SAFE provided information on safety planning and resources for elderly victims of domestic violence. Training participants included family members and guardians appointed by the DC Superior Court.

Training participants reported an increased knowledge of safety planning and resources available for elderly survivors.

DC SAFE is honored to participate in this important training. As a leading organization in the District of Columbia providing crisis response services and supportive advocacy for survivors of domestic violence, training and technical assistance is an integral part of SAFE’s mission. To learn more about SAFE’s Training and Technical Assistance Program or to request a training click here.

*Administration on Aging, National Center on Elder Abuse; MetLife Mature Market Institute, Broken Trust, Elders, Families and Finances, March 2009

** OWL, Elder Abuse: A Woman’s Issue, March 2009

 

Advocate of the Month: January 2015

Advocate of the Month: January 2015

Kylie is January’s Advocate of the Month!

In January, Kylie excelled at her individual client work, providing on-going, comprehensive services to clients both on the Response Line and in the Domestic Violence Intake Centers. Kylie played an integral role in the expansion of our Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Access Project, providing 24-hour in-person services to survivors who present at Washington Hospital Center for a domestic violence forensic exam.

Aside from her client work, Kylie is responsible for monthly statistics for our Response Line and ensures that we are up to date on our billing so that we can continue to place clients in crisis housing 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Welcoming New Beginnings

Welcoming New Beginnings

Artwork created by a survivor staying at SAFE Space to welcome other survivors.

A new year is a time to reflect on new beginnings. We are so grateful for the generosity of DC SAFE’s supporters who raised a total of $28,528 for SAFE Space during our holiday campaign. With these funds, more survivors can receive crisis housing and supportive services to create a new beginning free from violence and abuse.

SAFE also received an outpouring of support for survivors through in-kind donations from SAFE’s Amazon Wish List. We also received generous support from local groups such as employees giving programs and faith-based organizations, such as New Direction Church. These donations will be vital to helping survivors and their children feel more comfortable and at home.

We were touched to receive many special messages from community members expressing their support of SAFE and the survivors that SAFE empowers.

“You are an amazing organization and I’m in awe of the work you do to help people who come to SAFE. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a happy 2015.”

“My daughter is volunteering for your organization and I would like to make a donation in her honor. May this donation help you reach your financial goals and to continue the work you do in support of individuals who have suffered at the hands of domestic violence.”

“This donation is made by my company’s Charitable Contributions Company. DC Safe was recognized as an organization making a difference in our local community and we wanted to help.”

We are so grateful to receive generous support from our volunteers, board members, community members, and many others. Your support welcomes survivors and their children to a new life free from abuse and violence.

 

Advocate of the Month: December 2014

Advocate of the Month: December 2014

Charity is December’s Advocate of the Month! Charity was nominated by her co-workers for her above-and-beyond advocacy and passion for the work. In her short time with DC SAFE, Charity has developed expertise in both the court process and victim advocacy. Since she began in Sepember 2014, Charity has been a relentless advocate, building relationships with survivors in court who hadn’t previously received SAFE services and ensuring that they’re connected to all available resources. Charity’s passion extends outside of the Courthouse: Charity regularly signs up for Ride Alongs with the Metropolitan Police Department, providing in-person crisis services and building relationships with officers. Congratulation, Charity!

 

Advocate of the Month: November 2014

Advocate of the Month: November 2014

Lindsey is November’s Advocate of the Month! Lindsey was nominated by her co-workers for her client-centered, comprehensive work on the On-Call Response Line. Lindsey has done an incredible job ensuring that the most vulnerable clients’ needs are met quickly and efficiently through the Lethality Assessment Project (LAP).  Lindsey’s great work ethic and dedication to her clients has allowed LAP to flourish despite staffing shortfalls during the months of October and November.  Lindsey’s professionalism and commitment with both LAP and the response line has resulted in greater engagement by partner agencies and more positive interactions for SAFE clientele.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

It is that time of year where we all pause to reflect on the year past– how far we have come, and who helped us along the way. DC SAFE is so fortunate to be working alongside caring, supportive, and passionate organizations and individuals. We are not exaggerating when we say that we could not provide our critical services without their help, and at this time of year we want to take a special moment to recognize some of this year’s shining stars. You are all superheroes. Thank you for being part of the DC SAFE family.

 

Beveridge card

Building Partnerships card

Cafritz card

CVCP card

Katten card

Mary Kay card

OLA card

OVS card

SEIU card

Verizon card