40 Stories - Demetria Reid
Starting as a weekend shelter advocate for Partnership Against Domestic Violence, Demetria’s commitment and passion for the work facilitated her promotion to a child advocate after only one year with the agency. Demetria proudly proclaims that children are her passion and she loves the opportunity she’s been given as a child advocate to help give children a voice to express their feelings, questions and cries for support about the traumatic experiences they’ve encountered.
Demetria strongly believes that helping children understand and recover from life’s difficulties also helps them to develop better relationships with others and provides a clearer path to a healthy adulthood. There is one situation in particular Demetria recalls that reinforced and grew her fire for advocating for children in all areas of our work. A mother came to PADV’s shelter very distraught and angry, often lashing out verbally at everyone, including staff, volunteers and unfortunately, her daughter. Demetria could clearly see the hurt, pain and damage this was creating for mother and daughter, and she knew she had to help. Demetria brought the mother and daughter together in a listening session, so they could each express their feelings in a safe environment and work to rebuild the relationship.
The daughter was able to express how her mother’s words, as well as others feelings towards her, had negatively impacted her self-esteem and contributed to some of her bad behavior in school. The mother was able to respond with regret for her harsh words and compassion for her daughter’s hurt and tears. Both made agreements about how to change their behavior to work better together as a team. By the time they left the shelter, the mother and daughter had healthier communication and had made great strides in building the stronger relationship they both longed for all along.
One thing Demetria wants everyone to know about PADV: “We are here to build positive relationships and to be a great support system for anyone who walks through our doors. We want to be the safe place for those who need it mentally as well as physically. If you’re a survivor, or still struggling with domestic violence in your life, know that PADV has abundant resources and support to provide you through our strong and committed team of PADV staff and volunteers.”