40 Stories-Emma Bell
While Emma’s time with PADV is relatively short, volunteering with us since 2016, she has a long history of actively engaging in the work to end the crime of intimate partner violence. She served as the CEO of a domestic violence program in London, and brings international knowledge and perspective to her volunteer work at PADV. Upon moving to Atlanta Emma felt a strong pull to remain engaged in helping domestic violence survivors, and volunteered with PADV as a crisis line volunteer. She was eager to join our team after receiving a welcoming and enthusiastic response to her volunteer application and participating in what she experienced as PADV’s top notch volunteer training. Here strong positive impression of PADV was reinforced when she started her volunteer work and was warmly welcomed by the onsite staff. Emma also reports being impressed by the awesome work she has seen staff do supporting clients with compassion and care.
Emma is a strong advocate for victims of intimate partner violence. She implores everyone in our community to speak out against intimate partner violence and condemn it as unacceptable. While she finds herself fortunate to have never been personally experienced this devastating crime, she has close friends and family members that have been impacted. Seeing it so close to home just reinforces Emma’s thought that, “All of us need to challenge stereotypes, ask questions, and be empathetic. Too often people ask ‘why doesn’t she just leave?’ It takes thought, education, and understanding for people to realize it’s never that simple.”
Emma believes there has been change in domestic violence work over the last 40 years, with better and more widespread shelter and outreach services. Yet she acknowledges there is still so much to be done. She is excited by the work that PADV is doing to reach teens about healthy relationships, believing strongly that this is the way we can shift attitudes and behavior for the future.