Cincy Chic: You are a counselor at The Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) in Northern Kentucky. What do you love about your job and what’s the hardest part of your job?
Korey Campbell: I love being able to witness the transformation in my clients. It is amazing to see how dedicated they are to reaching their goals and becoming self-sufficient after just going through trauma. With just a little bit of support, the survivors I encounter are able to thrive even in the most difficult circumstances. This, to me, is incredible and very inspiring. The hardest part of being a counselor is trying to help clients when there are not enough community resources or government funding to meet the ever-growing needs of the clients.
Cincy Chic: Describe a typical day for you at WCC.
Campbell: A typical day? There is really no such thing at a crisis center. As a counselor, I not only see scheduled clients, but I also will meet with anyone that walks into our office in crisis and needs resources or help. Our agency also responds to any call from the hospital when someone checks in for any domestic violence or sexual assault related injury so that those survivors will have someone there to help support them. We also have a 24-hour hotline, so counselors answer whenever a call comes in and help the caller with whatever crisis they may be encountering. There’s no telling what the situation will be when clients call or come in to the office in crisis, but the counselors at our agency are there to try and provide as much support and safety planning as possible to help empower the client during that difficult time.
Cincy Chic: This issue is all about “Survivorship.” How do you and the WCC help women overcome the awful experiences that they have been through and enable them to be survivors in their personal lives?
Campbell: Honestly I do not really feel that our agency is responsible for the change that takes place. We just provide our clients with much needed support and link them to resources; they do all the hard work! As they are empowered, they transition from victim to survivor as they make decisions and work to reach their personal goals.
Cincy Chic: How many people does the WCC service/help? How do Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky rank in terms of domestic abuse stats?
Campbell: Last year our agency served more than 1,325 domestic violence survivors, 525 sexual assault survivors and 175 family/friends of sexual assault survivors. These statistics don’t include the numerous clients served by our public education program or any of the clients who choose to receive services anonymously.
Statistics on domestic violence and sexual assault are still under-reported, but studies suggest that one in six women and one in 33 men will be the victim of rape in their lifetime. The Harris Poll in 2006 indicated that as many as 33 million Americans disclosed being a survivor of intimate partner violence. This is still a very widespread social issue demanding our attention so that support can be made available to every survivor.
Cincy Chic: How do you personally cope/survive a difficult situation/event?
Campbell: Personally, I try to take care of myself so that I will not get worn down by stressful situations. Two things that I have found extremely helpful are exercising and processing difficult situations with someone I trust so that I can get their perspective on the situation. It’s too easy to get caught up in a stressful situation and not be able to see it objectively. That’s why I find it helpful to talk to someone else to determine whether I am seeing the whole picture, or whether I am getting too caught up in the details of it.
Cincy Chic: What’s the biggest misconception about what the WCC has to offer?
Campbell: The biggest misconception that I have heard about our agency is that we only serve female survivors of domestic violence when, in fact, our services are available to any survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault. Our clientele consists of both men and women, as well as children, teens, secondary victims and pets.
Cincy Chic: WCC also shelters family pets while their owners are seeking the assistance they need for the family to remain safe. Do you see a correlation between battered pets and their owners as studies suggest?
Campbell: We continually see a correlation between intimate partner violence and violence to pets. In fact, our agency realized that keeping pets safe was a barrier to our clients being able to receive services because they could not leave their pets behind to go to the shelter and often had no place to take them. This is one of the reasons why our agency started a pet protection program that will shelter a client’s pet for a period of time in a safe location while the client is staying in a safe shelter.
Cincy Chic: What advice do you have for women out there, who are experiencing/have experienced abuse, rape or any other type of assault and are hesitant to reach out for help?
Campbell: For anyone out there who has experienced any kind of intimate partner violence or sexual assault, I would first encourage them to remember that they are not alone. No matter how strong they are, it is okay to need support, and there are people out there willing to provide that support and encouragement so that they can work through the trauma that they have been through. It is also important to take time for themselves to help build into who they are so that they can begin to rebuild anything they may have lost through that trauma.
Cincy Chic: How do you spend your free time?
Campbell: When I have free time, I try to surround myself with my friends. I really enjoy taking in the local arts and music scene here in Cincinnati, so I do that whenever I get a chance.
Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Campbell: Upon moving to Cincinnati, the first thing that I fell in love with was the Cincinnati skyline. To me it is just beautiful. I never tire of seeing the beautiful buildings at sunset.
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