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Meet Heather St John, Advocate Against Domestic Violence

What does Empowering Women in Industry mean to you? Empowering women means uplifting and supporting women. I am a survivor of sexual assault and now I work as an advocate against domestic violence. In my job, we teach and educate women and men about domestic violence and human trafficking. We also teach women and men about empowering themselves and taking control of their life and destiny.

How did you get started in your field? I am a survivor of sexual assault and I knew that I wanted to use my story to help other people. When the pandemic happened, I decided to take a leap of faith and change careers completely. Domestic Violence skyrocketed during the pandemic and I knew I needed to help make a change. I took the leap of faith and started working for the local women's shelter as an advocate.

What do you love most about your job? What are you most proud of? I love knowing that I am planting seeds for all of the kids and adults that I come in contact with. I educate kids as young as 3 about how to use their hands for helping and not hurting. Knowing that I am able to plant that seed in a young child is so rewarding. It is also rewarding working with older children and adults as well. Some children and adults have experienced domestic violence and being that supportive person for them is beyond rewarding.

What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work? I would advise anyone that wants to get involved in advocacy work that pertains to violence against women, to first ask themselves why. Why do they want to work in this field. It is not an easy field to be apart of. You have to have a passion for the work or you will be burnt out. I would also advise anyone entering this field that is a survivor themselves or has ties to a survivor, to make sure that they are far enough in their own healing journey. We all want to help people, but we need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves before we can help anyone else.

I would like to thank everyone that has helped me along my healing journey. After my sexual assault in December 2015, I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to live and enjoy life again. With the help of my family, friends, therapist, and supporters I am able to say that I am now not only surviving, but I am thriving!

Connect with Heather on social media Facebook: Heather D St John Instagram: heatherdstjohn TikTok: dawn_heather

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