The Me I Didn't Have

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Being able to understand and connect with people, especially when they are going through a difficult time, is incredibly important. Laura Brown gets to do just that every single day with her clients. Her personal experience with domestic violence allows her to connect with them on a deeper level and offer the different types of support they need.

Laura’s current role at the YWCA is the Community Programs Family Case Manager. This role allows Laura to wear many hats and no two days ever look the same. Laura’s position requires her to spend a lot of time out in the community and she is often driving around from different locations to best help and support clients. The purpose of each day for Laura is to help those who have experienced domestic violence and assist them in whatever they may need. This could include going with them to court appointments, helping them find lawyers, or helping them find housing. Whatever the client needs, Laura is there to help.

One thing Laura finds extremely integral in the process is explaining what domestic violence is. Many clients do not always know what is happening, why it is happening, or where to go from here. Laura uses a Jenga analogy to help alleviate any confusion. She says that domestic violence is like the game of Jenga. When your parents are raising you, they are placing Jenga blocks in a nice, even tower. Experiencing domestic violence is as if someone were to come and pull out your blocks one by one. Laura’s job is to help clients build their tower back up again by placing their blocks back one by one, whatever that may mean for them.

The job is a tough one, having to witness people go through the most devastating situations, but Laura’s personal experience with domestic violence allows her to be “the me I didn’t have.” She serves as a resource and an avenue to healing in the victims’ lives. Knowing she is helping people every single day to be the best versions of themselves is what gets her through. She doesn’t mind coming in early or staying late, because it’s easy to do the work when you are excited about what you do and know you are meant to be doing it.

One thing Laura chooses to live by right now is being the rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Laura serves as the rainbow in many people’s lives and the YWCA is extremely grateful to have her passion, service, and warm spirit.