A Day In the Life

By Stacy Kennedy ι DAP Board of Directors

 

Recently I had the chance to shadow Chanel Thomas, a DAP advocate, and it was an experience that left me in awe.  As a member of DAP’s Board of Directors I participate in organizational governance and development, it is not often that I get to meet the very people who benefit from DAP’s services.  So when the opportunity to accompany a staff member for a day came up, I accepted immediately.

Our day started with administrative work; reviewing police reports, completing intakes and filing orders for protection. Did you know that every morning DAP advocates receive a list of domestic abuse arrests from the night before and then call each victim?  The purpose is to:

  1. Introduce the victim to DAP services.
  2. Ask what they need to be safe right now.
  3. Explain the legal process and their rights to them.
  4. Answer any questions they have.

Later in the afternoon I went on a ride-along with Chanel as we visited victims.  There was a client named Rose*, who went through a rush of emotions as we visited her at her parents house where she is living.  She was quiet, frustrated, angry, and sad all at the same time.  I watched Chanel work through all of those emotions with her with such ease and compassion which allowed Rose to get it all out – and not feel bad about it (she was frustrated with the legal system and Chanel let her process all of that).  Chanel followed up with, “I am here for you” and gave her the biggest hug.  It was awesome to watch this play out.  Chanel was “on” – it was truly amazing to watch how she handled that situation with poise and composure and how it worked out!

In watching all that the DAP advocates do on a daily basis and the ease in which Chanel handles the system was amazing and after spending the day with her I not only appreciate the work the advocates perform but the compassion and care they demonstrate for the clients. Advocates have to be so knowledgeable, understanding, empathetic and organized. I’m so proud to be part of the DAP family – I am confident that my support of DAP truly provides real change.

*The name of the victim has been changed.