Our Spotlight Victim Advocate for National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
ABOUT SHANNON: “I am married to Nathan almost 17 years. We have twin 14 year old boys, Ethan and John. I am a stay at home mom who is NEVER at home. On the warm weekends I can be found at Center Hill Lake on my Sea Doo-that is my escape from reality. I enjoy scrapbooking, watching my kids play soccer and traveling. I am an active member of the Junior League of Murfreesboro, I teach ASITIA (sex education) thru Portico (Pregnancy Support Center) in High Schools throughout Rutherford County. I also serve on a few committees at my church.”
WHY SHE BECAME A SEXUAL ASSAULT ADVOCATE: “I decided to become an advocate because I felt that if I could be there for someone on the worst day of their lives and be a bright spot in that day, then I needed to try. I also have made it my unsaid mission until now to see a smile on the clients face before they leave the hospital. I really believe that having faith in our clients and loving each of them through this traumatic time gives me the strength to do ANYTHING needed to advocate for them. It is my hope that someday we will not need Sexual Assult Services but until that day comes, I am so happy to be a part of this organization and the Rutherford Co SART Team.”
WORK AS AN ADVOCATE: “After working with Domestic Violence & Sexual Assult Services I am always surprised that each case is so incredibly different. There are no rules when it comes to sexual assult/rape. It does not discriminate and no one is immune. It never ceases to amaze me the hurt that humans can do to one another and the love that can also be shown by our team and the staff at St. Thomas Rutherford. I also know that when I get called to St. Thomas Rutherford to accompany a victim, if I have a question or need anything, Kim Reynolds (Staff SA Advocate & Counselor) is just a call away. I have an invaluable friend in Kim and appreciate her faith in me.”
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SHANNON: “I have lived in 8 states, and have seen most of the United States from the backseat of a Oldsmobile station wagon. I have lived in the same house as raccoons, squirrels, opossums, Night Herons, ducks, bluejays, Owls, beaver and many more wild animals; my mom was a wild life rehab tech & I was the live in assistant. I met Nathan, my husband, at Kleer Vu, a match made in hot water cornbread heaven.”
Shannon was certified to be a Sexual Assault Advocate with our program in January of 2015. Her certification consisted of an application for acceptance, reference letters, background screenings, and an 8-hour training held at Saint Thomas Rutherford, led by Sexual Assault Counselors, a Legal Advocate, and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
Shannon has since become a true rock star advocate. She has accompanied countless sexual assault survivors to the hospital, as well as taken crisis calls, and even acted as an advocate for victims during police interviewing for investigation.
Sexual Assault Advocacy is an extremely challenging role to take on. Calls can come anytime of day or night. Accompanying someone who has just experienced possibly the most traumatic incident of their lives can become emotionally overwhelming and complex to navigate. It seems as though this role was made for Shannon, though. She embodies all of the things that an Advocate is; compassionate, empathetic, strong, supportive, and determined. She truly values each and every victim and survivor she encounters. She fights for them, cares for them, and places the utmost importance in their healing process. Every survivors who has her as their Advocate has one of the best.
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services, as well as the Rutherford County SART (sexual assault response team), also has one of the best!
Thank you Shannon for your commitment to protecting victims, preventing violence, and empowering survivors.