Meet Trisha Smith

Why do you do this Anti-Violence work?
My involvement with anti-violence work falls under special interests I have related to trauma, grief, psychological adjustment, and brain injury as a result of physical violence. I am particularly interested in the process that transforms individuals into reaching their optimal potential and high levels of well-being.

What would you like to learn your first year on your new job? 
I would love to expand my knowledge on the diverse set of issues faced by survivors of violence as well as to further develop my lens of empathetic understanding and ways of expressing it through counseling techniques.

What is the latest book you’ve read and would you recommend it?
I have only just started reading; The Brain That Changes Itself. It is a very interesting read so far, and it is brain-related so of course I would recommend it!

images (4).jpgIf you were a vegetable what would you be? Why?
I would be a tomato, because there is an idea of ambiguity often tied to it: is it a fruit or a vegetable? Toe-may-toe or ta-ma-toe? It connects to my liking of abstract ideas and belief that no absolute truth exists.

What are the 3 things you love about Virginia?

  • Northern Virginia area,
  • scenery in the Shenandoah Valley (e.g. Skyline Drive), and
  • Richmond.

If you had one box for all your stuff, what would you put in it?
Pictures of my girlfriend (Chelsea) and dog (Bentley), headphones, and my laptop.

What is the most incredible view you’ve ever seen?
Beaches of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Lastly, what excites you most about your new job at the Action Alliance? 
Working as a part of the hotline team, I am looking forward to “holding space” for callers and equipping them with resources and tools. I am also looking forward to ways in which I might be of value in expanding hotline services in the future. In terms of the Action Alliance as a whole, I am excited to explore the different caucuses that exist as well as engage in discussions with coworkers related to intersectionality, oppression, and anti-violence.

Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline – 1 (800) 838-8238 | 24/7
Confidential chat  … Text (804) 793-9999
LGBTQ+ Partner Abuse & Sexual Assault Helpline – 1 (866) 356-6998

Trisha is a crisis hotline specialist with the Action Alliance. Trisha uses the pronouns she/her/they. She is currently a second-year student in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at VCU and hopes to someday become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Trisha is completing an internship with the Department of Counseling at Safe Harbor, in addition to an with the Brain Injury Association of Virginia. 

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Joining the Action Alliance adds your voice to making change in Virginia. Start your membership today or call.

To inquire about submissions for blog, please check the submissions page for requirements or email colson@vsdvalliance.org

Meet Rachael Kaufman 

Why do you do this Anti-Violence work?  
I think that anyone who experiences a violent crime (whether sexual, emotional or physical) deserves to be believed and supported. I want to be part of the movement that is advocating for survivors of specifically sexual and domestic violence to be heard and supported by their friends, families, communities, and institutions with which they interact following their experience.

What would you like to learn your first year on your new job? 
I want to learn anything and everything from my peers and supervisors who have been doing this work for much longer than I have. I am specifically interested in learning more about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) hotline and the LGBTQ+ Helpline, as I am less familiar working with those populations.

If you had one box for all your stuff, what would you put in it? 
I would put in a few favorite books, my hammock, and all my camping gear just in case of the next apocalypse.

Rachael_kneedeepinmud

What is the latest book you have read and would you recommend it? 
The last book I read is called the Vegetarian by Han Kang, which is about a Korean woman who wakes up one day after a nightmare and decides to be a vegetarian. Subsequently, she suffers persecution from her family, doctors, and society at large. I would recommend this book because I literally had no idea what was going on the whole time I was reading the novel; however, after lots of thinking and googling, I began to understand the narrative’s complex critique on bodily autonomy, cultural norms, and vegetarianism. It is a fascinating, exciting, and short read that will definitely keep you guessing. TW: sexual/domestic violence

If you were a vegetable what would you be? Why? 
I would be spaghetti squash because it is super fascinating and cool because it looks just like a regular squash but then it produces great faux-noodles. I would love to aspire to be a fascinating and cool person, and like the spaghetti squash, I have some hidden talents.

What are the 3 things you love about Virginia? 
I love, in no particular order…

  • the incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley,
  • all the murals throughout Richmond, and
  • the colonial reenactors at the WAWA in Williamsburg

What is the most incredible view you have ever seen? 
The best view I have ever seen is when I was backpacking in Australia. During our final day of our 30 day excursion, we climbed up a huge plateau where we had an expansive view of the entire Kimberley region which is almost completely uninhabited. There are rolling grasslands and I could see crazy Australian wildlife like kangaroos hopping around. As an added bonus, there was a huge waterfall at the top which housed awesome swimming holes that were super cold despite the 100+ degree heat.

Lastly, what excites you most about your new job at the Action Alliance? 
I am so excited to be a part of an organization that holistically addresses the issue of domestic and sexual violence in Virginia. I am so excited to learn more about the Action Alliance’s training and advocacy opportunities, while also being able to do direct service on the hotline.

 

Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline – 1 (800) 838-8238 | 24/7
Confidential chat  … Text (804) 793-9999
LGBTQ+ Partner Abuse & Sexual Assault Helpline – 1 (866) 356-6998

Rachael is a student at VCU working on her Master in Social Work, hoping to ultimately find a career working with college students on preventing and addressing the issue of sexual violence of their campuses. During her undergraduate time at William and Mary, Rachael studied Anthropology, which was an incredibly fun, although not the most practical, major. She was able to complete a honors thesis for her major about discourse surrounding sexual violence, analyzing how language about sexual violence affected the attitudes and behaviors of students and staff on campus. In her free time, Rachael loves to color in her adult coloring book while watching the newest Netflix show she has found. She is also an outdoor and travel enthusiast, having been to 6 out of the 7 continents for different outdoor adventures. She is still hoping to check off Antarctica one day! 

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Joining the Action Alliance adds your voice to making change in Virginia. Start your membership today or call 804.377.0335. 

To inquire about submissions for blog, please check the submissions page for requirements or email colson@vsdvalliance.org