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Collage of NNEDV Spring 2017 interns
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NNEDV Thanks Spring 2017 Interns

April 20, 2017

Every semester, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is enhanced by an inspiring, driven, and talented group of interns. This spring was no exception! Our work to end domestic violence is supported by interns and we are beyond grateful for their contributions. And now, let us introduce the spring 2017 dream team:

Aubrey L. Hoffer is a Political Science major and a Family & Human Development minor at Arizona State University, Class of 2017. Aubrey interned with NNEDV’s Public Policy team this spring.

  • My favorite thing that I learned while interning at NNEDV is… how big the family in the DV community is. I think that sometimes DV comes off as a niche issue when really it’s a societal problem that touches everyone in some way. So it’s all the more empowering when you realize that NNEDV helps out a network of coalitions, who all have their own teams working to eradicate DV.
  • One thing that everyone should know about DV is… that it’s a not an easy fix. Criminal justice reform doesn’t stop DV. Education doesn’t stop DV. Legislation doesn’t stop DV. Combining everything together and changing the culture around violence in relationships is how we get on the path to ending DV.
  • I’ll continue to be involved in the movement to end violence against women by… using my privilege to defend those who don’t, and advocating for victims back at my state level.
  • My favorite thing about interning with NNEDV is… being in an office that is full to the brim with intelligent, funny women. At any point in the day I can overhear conversations about sexism, patriarchy, and other issues that tend to stay hidden behind corners. At NNEDV, they are discussed openly and frankly. It’s also empowering to see that several women in the office really aren’t that much older than I am and hold great positions, which really empowers me to reach that level as well!

Left to right: Aubrey Hoffer, Kim Gandy, Emma Jabour

Emma Jabour is an International Studies major with a concentration in Global Health & Environment and a Community Action & Social Change minor at the University of Michigan, Class of 2017. Emma interned with NNEDV’s Positively Safe project this spring.

  • My favorite thing I learned while interning at NNEDV was… the number of methods an organization or an individual can use to influence policy and have a stronger role in the political process. Given the political climate during my time while interning here, there were many proposed policy changes that, for NNEDV as a whole and for the Positively Safe team, required a lot of advocacy and action.
  • One thing that everyone should know about DV is… that DV and sexual violence are everyone’s issue and everyone’s responsibility. A victim of domestic violence is not an island. Entire communities are affected. Everyone is responsible for taking the steps to end DV, whether it is consistently calling our congresswomen/men to pass laws that serve survivors, supporting our local DV shelters, or raising awareness. Everyone is vulnerable to DV and everyone is responsible to take action.
  • I’ll continue to be involved in the movement to end violence against women by… volunteering at a local DV shelter in Ann Arbor, MI as well as continuing to swamp the phone lines and inbox of my representatives/senators if there is ever a policy threat for survivors.
  • My favorite thing about interning at NNEDV was… the supportive and passionate environment I got to work in. As a college student, it is comforting to see firsthand that you can follow what you’re passionate about, try to make positive change, and collaborate with intelligent, hardworking colleagues. NNEDV gives me a hopeful outlook on pursuing both social change and a future career.

Briana Taylor has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Villanova University, Class of 2015. Briana interned with NNEDV’s Public Policy and Development & Communications teams this spring.

  • My favorite thing that I learned while interning at NNEDV is… it is hard for me to pick my favorite thing, but I will say that one of the most interesting things I learned and that I will take away from here is twofold: it will take a village to end gender-based violence because it does not occur in a vacuum. I also learned that part of helping survivors recover is empowering them to make their own decisions even when you don’t agree with them.
  • One thing that everyone should know about DV is… it doesn’t always leave a mark. Financial and sexual abuse are two of the most pervasive forms of domestic violence. Being here and helping the Economic Justice staff prepare for their first national summit, I was shocked to learn that financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. Sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse are just as hard to recover from as the physical, if not harder.
  • I’ll continue to be involved in the movement to end violence against women by… looking for opportunities to volunteer at shelters, state coalitions, and more. Eventually, I plan to obtain my Masters in public policy with a focus on gender violence. In the meantime, I am considering working for gender-based violence organizations abroad.
  • My favorite thing about interning with NNEDV is… the people. Everyone here is so supportive, driven, and passionate. I truly felt respected here. I appreciate working closely with the Dev/Comm team on a variety of tasks. I have learned so much from the staff here and will continue to consider many of them mentors and friends. Thanks, all!

Abigail Smallman (left) and Briana Taylor (right)

Abigail Smallman is a Communication major with a French minor at George Washington University, Class of 2019. Abigail interned with NNEDV’s Development & Communications team this spring.

  • My favorite thing that I learned while interning at NNEDV is… the different ways that NNEDV is making a difference. I am so grateful that I got to learn about the amazing projects at NNEDV like the Economic Justice project and Safety Net, NNEDV’s technology safety project. As part of the Development & Communications team, I also got to learn about how the language we use to talk about DV can make a huge impact.
  • One thing that everyone should know about DV is… that there are many different forms. During my internship, I had the opportunity to learn about some of the forms of DV that aren’t as commonly known including technology-facilitated and financial abuse. Though these forms aren’t talked about as much, they are still very real and damaging for survivors.
  • I’ll continue to be involved in the movement to end violence against women by… being a voice on campus and in my community. My time at NNEDV has taught me that there are still many misconceptions that exist in regards to domestic violence, so I intend to speak out and be an ally.
  • My favorite thing about interning with NNEDV was… the amazing people that I got to work with. I learned something new every day at NNEDV because everyone was so willing to share their knowledge. I loved getting to sit down with members of the staff to talk about DV, NNEDV’s different projects, feminism, and so much more. Every staff member made me feel like a part of the team, and I truly felt like my input was valued.