Life in a pandemic is filled with contradictions. In some ways, our homes feel less private, as our colleagues, teachers and casual acquaintances peer into our bedrooms and home offices over the internet, passing judgment on our housekeeping, our décor, and the behavior of our pets and children. In reality, of course, most of us are more isolated, and connections to our social safety nets have become tenuous.
These are the conditions in which gender-based violence thrives, and in the past few months, we have witnessed domestic violence become a shadow pandemic, increasing in both prevalence and severity. In addition to our increased isolation, severe economic suffering and trauma resulting from racist police violence mean that domestic violence is once again becoming a “private family matter” that the public sphere does not acknowledge and cannot address. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, more than any in recent memory I feel compelled to emphasize awareness because it is so easy to ignore what we do not see.
Over the past seven months, the Ascend Justice staff has worked to meet the needs of the survivors we serve, even as we struggle with the impacts of the pandemic in our lives. We have adapted service delivery to keep our staff safe, but also to make it easier for our clients to get the legal help they need. We’re not always in the same room, but our message to survivors is the same. We see you. We believe you. We’re here for you.
I hope that you will stand with us in our efforts to stay connected with survivors, serving them in new ways but with the same compassion and skill. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please consider a donation to support Ascend Justice’s work to meet this growing need.
Virtual Trivia Night 2020
On October 7th, we hosted our Virtual Trivia Night 2020 on Zoom with over 175 of our friends and donors in attendance! With their support of our work on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence and families impacted by the child welfare system, we raised close to $9,000 – our most successful Trivia Night yet!
Thank you to our Young Professionals Board for all their hard work and support of Trivia Night and congratulations to our winners – In It to Quinn It – on their victory!
Welcome Michelle Montoya
We are excited to welcome Michelle Montoya as our Emergency Services Paralegal! As the Emergency Services Paralegal, Michelle helps support our Order of Protection Clinic.
Michelle graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor’s Degree in social work in 2017. She has been working as a legal advocate at Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC) for nearly 3 years and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Michelle says she is excited to work with Ascend Justice “because of the unique approach the organization takes in providing assistance to its clients. This is a great opportunity to add to the work against gender-based violence while also getting to gain further knowledge regarding legal advocacy”.