40 Stories - Jennifer Graham-Johnson
Leader of the Tiger Team
Jennifer Graham-Johnson is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for WestRock and it was in this role that she was first introduced to PADV. Jennifer was amazed when she heard the personal testimony of Charmagne Helton, a WestRock vendor and friend. Ms. Helton’s story of suffering horrific physical abuse while married to her former husband was shocking to Jennifer, as Jennifer and Charmagne had worked together for 12 years with Charmagne always keeping her home life secret. After hearing Charmagne’s presentation about her journey from victim to survivor, Jennifer talked with other people that shared stories similar to Charmagne. Jennifer recalls how “My eyes were opened to the terrible prevalence of domestic violence and the many women and families that were affected. It was happening much more often than I ever could have imagined.”
Jennifer said that she “has been blessed with a really safe home life. I would have never thought to use the word “Safe” as it relates to home until I started working with PADV. Everyone should have a home life that is safe, comforting and that you look forward to going to. "It shouldn’t be a luxury; it shouldn’t be that much to ask for.” Her desire is to help the home become “safe” for everyone now living with home as a place of danger and fear.
Since joining PADV, Jennifer’s message to her friends and family has changed. “There are a lot of people that don’t think domestic violence touches their world but the reality is that it does. Chances are PADV is touching people you know and we need to be reaching many others that you may not know. We also need you to get involved. More people need to have an awareness that this is going on and more importantly, a call to action, to help end this crime. If you see it, find a safe way to take action. We have to move beyond community awareness to a community call to action.”
Jennifer’s message to anyone currently living with an abusive relationship is: “You can get out and you can take back the lives of yourself and your children. You can reach out for help. You can move past this and move on to the much better life you deserve, with the help of PADV.”
Jennifer has graciously agreed to serve as chair for PADV’s annual gala fundraiser, Hearts with Hope. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary of this tremendous event, Jennifer wants to make sure everyone knows what they can do to support our mission. She hopes to see you at the gala May 19, 2018! http://www.padv.org/events/hearts-with-hope/