40 Stories - Samantha Macedo
Vice President of Prevention and Outreach
Prior coming to PADV, Samantha worked for the Latin American Association’s family division. In this role, Sam often saw cases where physical abuse was present and women were desperate for help. Sam wasn’t yet aware about the warning signs and dangers of domestic violence, so would simply connect these women to other community services and the domestic violence advocate within the Latin American Association. These experiences prompted her to become more knowledgeable about domestic violence so that she could better support the women and children that were crying out for help.
As the issue of domestic violence called to Samantha’s heart, seven years ago she decided to apply for PADV’s Community Outreach Advocate, which she became. As she grew in the work she wanted to learn more about different avenues of prevention, and a year later transitioned into working with PADV’s Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program. She served in this role for three years, growing her knowledge and leadership skills. With a wealth of different experiences at PADV, Sam was the perfect person to be promoted to the role of Vice President of Prevention and Outreach when it became vacant. Since then, this role has allowed her to satisfy her desire to enhance and grow community based programming and greater outreach to teens.
Sam believes prevention is a catalyst for change. “Once you see domestic violence and recognize it you can act on it and change it. The community is not indifferent about the issue they just need to be educated and given the tools to act” Prevention work is very important to Sam because it shows that we all have the capacity to end intimate partner and dating violence. “PADV has a long history of great groundbreaking work but we still can’t do it alone. We need the time, skills and heart of the community to continue building a society for survivors to find safety,” said Sam.
Sam’s message is a very simple one, “A healthy relationship is a journey. You should be able to have good communication and not feel afraid to bring up issues. You should be able to compromise to what makes sense for both of you. You should be able to have boundaries. You should be able to find support in your partner, someone that believes in your dreams and goals and supports you.”