Melanie Hernandez is a domestic violence advocate and recovery support specialist. Her journey into the profession stems from her own personal experience. While Melanie was pregnant with her second child, she was the victim of domestic violence and found herself at a DV shelter.
Becoming a domestic violence advocate wasn’t easy for Melanie. She had been through it all. Her self-esteem had been shattered and she didn’t believe she could do it. She recalls how she was invited to fill the role, at the calling of a friend.
“It was actually from a family friend. She was an engineer and quit her engineering job to start a nonprofit. She was from Baltimore and reached out to me and said, "I've heard you talk a little bit about what you went through.”
“At that time, I was utilizing my platform to talk about not my personal experiences, but I would talk about what women go through. I wanted to help, but I just didn't know how. She saw it on Instagram and said ‘I think you would be a perfect fit for this nonprofit I am trying to start.’ I was scared and thought I couldn’t do it, but she convinced me I could.
Trauma is not to be taken lightly, but the mindset you develop determines your path towards healing. As Melanie points out, it’s breaking away from the projection of being a victim towards that path of healing.
“One thing I talk about a lot with women is accountability for our next steps. I think, with domestic violence, there's so much emphasis on victimhood it's hard for people to see themselves out of that.”
Tune into this episode as Melanie explores domestic violence through her story and how she's helping women overcome their trauma through her work.