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From Victim to Victor: Day One Client and Youth Voices Network Member Samantha Taylor Shares Her Story

A few years ago, I immigrated to New York City from Jamaica to live with my then-husband. A little under three months after I migrated, the relationship took a left turn on an atrocious street called Intimate Partner Violence. I sought solace, protection, and wisdom from Safe Horizon. I was twenty-two years old and requested counseling only. Safe Horizon then referred me to Day One because of my age and request. I’ve long maintained and continue to maintain that there is a strong possibility I would be dead and gone if I was not referred to Day One. I believe that before the foundation of the earth was laid, I was predestined to be joined to Day One. It has been and continues to be an integral part of my support system. To me, Day One is a mother, acceptance, strength, patience, relatability, power, kindness, a shield—it is love.

Women's History Month

For women, particularly women of color, gender inequity can have life threatening costs. Women aged 16-24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence, triple the national average, and the rates for women of color are the highest. But without women in positions of power, the problem is not addressed properly. This March, we acknowledge the women who are change-makers in the fight to end domestic violence, while realizing there is more work to be done.

Attending You(th) Already Know! as an Adult Ally

For the past three years, Day One has been hosting the You(th) Already Know! gathering. Bringing together teens and young adults from across the city, the event works to build community and share knowledge around ending intimate partner violence.

Adult allies can attend, but only if they agree to certain guidelines. We’re asked to do something we’re not always accustomed to when interacting with those who are younger than us: take a back seat, listen rather than speak, and earn—not demand—respect.

As an adult, my role at the gathering was to be an observer and an ally. So what is my role in the post-event discussion?

Holding Space So Youth Can #TellThemNow

As a young adult author, my goal when I sit down to write a story from a teen protagonist’s point of view is to present their experiences as authentically as possible, to try to get in the skin of this character and see the world the way she would in 2018. The vast majority of us who write for teens do so because our teen years still resonate deeply with us. Sadly, in many cases this is because we had particularly tough experiences growing up including, in my case, teen dating violence.

Value in Variety: Reflection on Day One’s You(th) Already Know! Conference

I first heard about Day One’s You(th) Already Know! Conference during a phone interview I had for an internship at Day One. I was already excited about the position, but became even more enthusiastic after learning that part of my job would be helping to plan a youth centered conference on intimate partner violence (IPV). Day One’s dedication to include youth as participants in the conference, but also to empower them through leadership, education and creative input opportunities felt inspiring!

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