Midpoint Evaluation at Family Violence Law Center

Working with Family Violence Law Center has certainly been a tremendous experience thus far. Not only have I had the opportunity to learn about California Family Law, but this kind of work inherently includes a constant reminder for personal reflection. When working with individuals in crisis, it is imperative that one puts aside one’s own personal biases or primary reactions. If a client says their partner is physically abusive but they do not want to leave the house they share, it is not my job to tell them that they’re wrong, but rather to safety plan and meet them where they are emotionally. I can offer to help them find a domestic violence shelter or a program that will help them financially to relocate, but ultimately their subsequent actions are solely their decisions. This can be frustrating, but it also fuels a fascinating internal dialogue that I have noticed emerge not only in myself but also in my coworkers: that which we say aloud and that which we wish we could say. Occasionally the two diverge when a client decides to take part of one of our services (restraining orders, counseling).
Answering crisis calls!
My position entails taking them through these first steps towards recovery, by removing the client from contact with their abuser (e.g., restraining orders). In my learning goals, I had included a wish to challenge myself, which I have certainly found here. Each client provides a different unique challenge, with each challenge posing a new entanglement that keeps everyone on their toes. I can see my own growth by virtue of how others in my office treat me. My supervisor has been increasing my workload; other co-workers let me answer the crisis hotline without supervision; they have begun to give me new volunteers to train, who shadow me on the hotline or when doing legal screenings (intakes).
One of our past clients sells tacos to the entire office building every Wednesday. She’s lovely and a wonderful chef!
My coworker/professor of the hotline arts Becki, enjoying tacos!
I am most proud that I can actively feel myself learning how better to help others in traumatic situations. In the past month, I have begun to rely less on advice of other advocates in the office because I am able to problem-solve given the facts available. Clearly I still have a lot to learn, but it’s exciting to be in this relatively fast-paced environment of California family law and I am excited for the opportunity to continue growing in this field.
Ashley Lynette, ’13

2 thoughts on “Midpoint Evaluation at Family Violence Law Center”

  1. Your internship sounds fantastic! I think it’s amazing that you have so many responsibilities and feel comfortable with the work that you are doing. I want to pursue a career in exactly what that organization does and it’s so great that you are able to be a part of that. Are you interested in having a career in this sort of field? I look forward to reading more about your experience!

  2. Hi Ash-
    First, I loved reading this post. Your strengths as a writer really shine through! I am inspired by your desire to challenge yourself. It seems like you have learned and grown so much over your internship! I learned so much just by reading this post. Your advice on putting aside your personal biases can be applied to many of our work and life situations. Thank you for your insights, and I look forward to talking to you more about your experience once we are back at school!
    Thanks,
    Eliana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *