It's amazing what a weekend can do. we had our first woman come and seek refuge with us this past Friday. Her situation deals more with emotional and verbal abuse than physical violence, but even when dealing with physical violence, i think it's the emotional scars that take the longest to heal. When she came to us she was a shell of who she is now. She's joking and smiling, playing with our dog, and finally feeling like she is a woman who's worth something rather than a prisoner in her own house. She's still shy around strangers and isn't used to being around strange guys (her husband never let her leave the house unless she was with him and then he would accuse her of flirting if she so much as looked at other men), but in 3 days she's grown so much. and you know what? I have too. it's one thing to hear about an abused woman's story on Oprah or in a book--it's a completely different thing to sit down and talk to the woman face to face about her situation. this is why I came down here--to help people on an individual level as well as to help the community as a whole, and i think i'm finally starting to make an impact, which makes all the running around, chasing after people to call me back, and frustration at not having enough funds or amenities for the women's shelter worth it. and I can't help but feel like this song sums up my feelings about this past weekend and my internship perfectly:
Thanks to this internship I've solidified my desire to work on human rights issues. I've also realized that while it is fulfilling to work on such issues on an individual basis, I'm not cut out for it long term...though perhaps that is a subject for a different post. human rights policy making? i could definitely dig that.