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Survivor Stories

Who We Are

"I'm just there for them"

Only 30 hours removed from spending an entire night with a sexual assault victim at an area hospital, The Survivor Empowerment Center's Alexa Bond reflected on her first six months as a Medical/Legal Advocate for Rape Crisis Services in our Marion office.
“I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be” Bond said, adding that those first six months have been “very rewarding.”

After working in the Domestic Violence Division of Williamson County State’s Attorney’s office for 11 months, Bond had become well acquainted with the frequency of domestic violence incidents in Williamson County and daily worked on cases in which an abused person was seeking an Order of Protection to keep them safe from an abuser.

Not Always Paradise -John Pfeifer

I walked along Kaanapali Beach very early on a Tuesday morning last month.. The sun was rising on the east side of the island, fewer than ten hours after I had experienced my first magnificent Maui sunset on the island’s western shore. I was – as always – on my way to Starbucks.

Later that same day, after a short mostly vertical drive to the 10,023 foot summit in Haleakala National Park, I found myself looking down into the crater floor from high above the clouds. The views – whether obscured by clouds or not – were delightfully different than any I had experienced before. And only hours after my early morning 75 degree beach walk, the wind was blowing, and the temperature was a brisk 53 degrees.

Two Visits

It was Wednesday, April 19 and we were hurting. Our cash reserves were depleted, our precious $100,000 CD cashed in and I was about to fill out paperwork to establish a line of credit using our building as collateral.

Established in 1972, the “we” I refer to above is The Survivor Empowerment Center, the agency that has an established shelter in Carbondale and also provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in eight counties across southern Illinois including Williamson. I was Treasurer of the Center at that point, a board member for three years, and my reports became the impetus to discuss furloughs, layoffs, holding positions open, cutting back on services, and yes – discussing the possibility that we might not live to see our 45th anniversary.

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