by Madeline D’Onfro, WCA Outreach Coordinator
Danielle Tudor is a woman who understands the power that one voice can have. A victim of sexual assault, she has used her story and her voice to help keep her offender behind bars. She has also used her voice to raise awareness of sexual assault for victims everywhere. The staff at the WCA recently had the opportunity to hear Danielle speak. Danielle courageously told us about her experiences, explaining that while she now speaks publicly about her past, there were many years in which she held her story in. However, a few years ago, after giving an interview in her local paper, Danielle realized that telling her story not only gave her strength but it also empowered people everywhere who were dealing with similar situations. Danielle thanked the WCA for being the type of organization that gives support and a voice to victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
The idea of the power of a voice has become abundantly clear during my first three weeks serving full-time with the WCA as an Americorps volunteer. The WCA provides a safe haven for individuals, having housed a total of 73 women and 80 children in 2013 alone. The WCA also helps with healing and finding the path to freedom from domestic assault as it provides counseling, case management, life skills, and financial literacy for survivors. Already I have seen the ways in which the WCA’s vision translates into daily practice. Each individual that walks into this establishment is welcomed with warmth. As they are served throughout the organization, they are continually being told that the WCA is here to support them and advocate for them. And with each day that passes and with each public event that occurs, the WCA is able to reach out to more and more people and keep the awareness alive and the conversation happening. The opportunity to be a part of that chorus of voices– validating and empowering men and women everywhere—is something I am already very grateful for and proud of.