Helping Abuse Victims Move Past Fear, Toward Career

It’s natural for people to seek comfort from others during times of grief or trauma. We need a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to, someone who sympathizes.
We all rely on each other in times of need, and one scenario that requires advocacy (a friend to call, a resource, a safety net) is domestic abuse.
Beyond Safety, a free employment service for those who have experienced abuse and violence, is in need of advocates. The program is open to people of all backgrounds.
Beyond Safety addresses the challenges of intimate partner abuse and helps participants move toward financial self-sufficiency.
You can help by becoming an advocate. Volunteers will provide one-on-one support to those who have experienced intimate partner abuse and are seeking employment.
As an advocate, you would:

  • connect program participants and their families to resources
  • work with staff to support participants in their emotional health and career goals
  • instill participants with confidence and knowledge and attend monthly meetings for ongoing education with a team of advocates and Beyond Safety staff.

The time commitment is flexible. Contact Heather Duchscherer, Beyond Safety Outreach Coordinator, at 952-542-4826 or [email protected] to inquire about Beyond Safety and becoming an advocate.
Advocate training sessions will be held Mondays, Jan. 23 & 30, and Feb. 6 & 13, from 6–8:30 p.m. at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (13100 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka 55305).
To see what current advocates have to say about their involvement with Beyond Safety, read below.
What is it like to be an advocate?
It’s a rewarding experience and feels good to help others reach their goals.
Being an advocate is eye-opening. Domestic violence doesn’t occur in a vacuum; there is a whole host of issues. Even if we can’t stop someone from being violent, we can help those that have been impacted get the help they need.
How are advocates helpful for victims of domestic abuse?
They provide support, resources and guidance, helping victims as they work toward their professional and life goals.
Does someone need previous experience as an advocate to be one now?
No. Anyone with an interest in becoming an advocate can become one.
What do victims of abuse think of their advocates?
They are a gift, a blessing. Advocates are there when nobody else is.
 Why should someone become an advocate?
Because you don’t stand idly by the needs of your neighbor.
It’s a mitzvah.
It’s fulfilling; we get as much out of it as our clients.
It builds compassion.
The more people know about the issue, the more people will talk about it, bringing it forward, reducing the stigma. Being an advocate makes it easier for people to get help.
Beyond Safety is open to people of all backgrounds and is a Jewish Domestic Abuse Collaborative (JDAC) initiative, which is a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, and Jewish Family Service of St. Paul.