This guest blog post was written by Courtney Knox, who interned with NVRDC from January through May of 2016.
When I first started with the Network for Victim Recovery, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The opportunity to intern with them came suddenly and it all happened rather fast. I was finishing up my last semester of college, working a part time job, and studying for the LSAT. I was so busy trying to keep everything together that finding an internship had started to take a step down on my list of priorities. So when I spoke with the colleague of a close friend and she introduced me to NVRDC and the possibility of an internship with them, I jumped at the chance. After doing some research on the organization I knew it could be a great fit and a great learning opportunity. NVRDC was never in my plans but sometimes that’s how the best experiences happen – unexpected and unplanned for.
During the time I spent with NVRDC I got to help with the Run for Rights Sur5K race they hosted for National Crime Victims Rights Week. I had such a blast getting to work on this project. To see the passion and dedication the staff has to serve crime victims was truly inspiring. Amongst the million other things they had going on, they truly gave everything into making this event a success. NVRDC really made it a priority to come together with the community, other local organizations, and most importantly survivors themselves to really make this event a collaborated effort and ensure that survivors’ voices were heard and represented. I will always take with me the importance of, and the need for, collaboration and the ability to engage with others in the field in order to most effectively serve and advocate for survivors and crime victims’ rights. To help victims and survivors achieve justice is the ultimate goal as well as a huge task; there is no way that one person, or one organization, can do that job alone.
Along with helping the staff work on the 5K race, I also got to shadow a few of the attorneys in court as well as while they handled client intakes. Sitting with a client while she describes the details of her assault, or watching in court as a case gets delayed and the victim continues to get denied justice is not easy. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating and all I wanted to be able to do was fix it. Obviously, I couldn’t snap my fingers and make it all better; but what I could do was observe. Observe the way the attorneys talked to survivors, or handled a glitch in the case (with a lot more grace than I could’ve had), or simply had to sit and listen to horrendous details of someone’s assault. Every interaction I witnessed between them and a client was so genuine and filled with such compassion that I was truly moved and honored to be able to watch it happen.
As someone with a passion to continue in this line of work, I know that my future will be filled with many different interactions with survivors of all types of crime. I also know that the interactions I got to observe and learn from will influence me greatly in my future endeavors. I hope that I can encompass the same grace, compassion, and dedication that I saw in each and every person here at this organization.
So thank you, NVRDC for giving me the opportunity to learn, grow and serve alongside you all during these last four months. It was truly an honor.