40 Stories - Tashnique
When people think of domestic violence their minds often go to its effects on women. Unfortunately, statistics show that over 10,000,000 children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence every year. The single best predictor of children becoming perpetrators of domestic violence later in life is whether or not they grew up in a home with domestic violence present.
In response to this tragic reality, PADV created the role of Child Advocate to help the children living in our shelter cope with their feelings, understand what’s happened in their family, have a safe place to talk about their questions and concerns and an opportunity to laugh, play and just be kids.
Tashnique serves as one of two child advocates for PADV. She sought out that role because she wanted the opportunity to empower her clients and restore their joy. Her passion is evident as you watch the children in the shelter run up to Tashnique, grab her around the waist and beg, “Please, do you have a minute to hang out with me?”
In addition to those spontaneous moments of connection, Tashnique meets weekly with all children, ages three and up, in the shelter to discuss any issues as well as progress on the goals they developed when they first entered the shelter.
Once a family enters the shelter, Tashnique first works with the parent to get their children registered for school and ensures all educational and transportation services are in place.
Not only does she help children at the shelter, but she also assists adults with advice and encourages them to talk to someone who is ready to listen and won’t be judgmental on their decisions.
For Tashnique, working at PADV is truly humbling. “Clients think that I inspire them, but really they inspire me to be a better person and push harder. We go above and beyond for our clients, volunteers, other staff members and donors. If you really want to see good work being done, get involved with PADV.”