40 Stories - Cynthia
Community Outreach Advocate
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
― Maya Angelou
This quote by Maya Angelou touches Cynthia’s heart, one of our Community Outreach Advocates, both personally and professionally. Before every support group, she shares this quote with those in attendance to help them get past the abusive relationship, and to not blame themselves.
While in college, Cynthia was a victim of dating violence. That experience drives the passion she has for her clients and her work, and constantly motivates her to work hard to teach others about domestic violence.
Prior to joining PADV, Cynthia held several positions with the Victims Service Center in South Florida. She joined Partnership Against Domestic Violence in 2015 as a Community Outreach Advocate. In this role, Cynthia worked with survivors at all stages of intimate partner violence. In some cases the women have transitioned out of violence and while others were still living with their abuser, struggling with the violence, hoping they could somehow make the violence end to save their relationship.
For every woman served, Cynthia listens, helps them explore their options, emphasizes their value, supports their pain and struggle and ensures a safety plan is in place. Cynthia brings all of PADV’s resources to this work, along with her vast knowledge of community agencies and support.
While Cynthia feels emotionally drained after every support group session, she values the opportunity they provide to victims that feel trapped with no way out. Some survivors find Cynthia’s support groups by calling the crisis line, while others are reached through education and outreach events, businesses, law enforcement officials, churches, family and friends.
“Everyone has a large part to play in ending violence. You can talk to your kids; bring a presentation to your faith institution or job. People need to know what a healthy relationship is so that they can use it as a model for what they want to create in their own life,” says Cynthia.
Cynthia loves that PADV has the capacity and commitment to give each client the time they need and that the services are individualized to meet each person exactly where they are in their journey from victim to survivor. “PADV is an empowerment based program. A big part of empowering someone is letting them know that all the decisions are theirs. PADV shows survivors that they are in control and that we will support them whatever they decide.”