Today was our first day at Haven! Haven¬†is Oakland County’s “comprehensive program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault”. This morning we met with two employees at Haven for an education session.

During education we learned about Haven’s different programs, including: the Crisis and Support Hotline, Counseling, Shelter, Advocacy, Prevention, and Educational Programming. We also¬†explored the complexities of domestic violence and sexual assault through Haven’s empowerment model. Throughout this education session, members of the Mythbuster’s Team were able to ask questions and engage in a productive dialogue. This education session was extremely important, as it allowed the team to learn more about Haven’s individual efforts and how these issues affect everyone. Further, because of the spectrum of knowledge on our team, the education program was very helpful at contextualizing the whole week and providing the group with a jumping point for further reflection.

After our morning education session, our group broke out into different teams and assisted the shelter in various tasks. Tasks included sorting donations, preparing food for later meals, organizing bookshelves, and stocking priority items (such as detergent and diapers).

After our day at Haven we came back for our first reflection. To start off reflection we watched a Ted X talk by Scott Louis on the topic of talking to individuals who have experienced trauma. This talk reinforced the lessons we were taught at Haven: to defer to the individual, to not write someone’s narrative, to recognize the victim is the expert, and to understand that you’re role is to provide emotional support and other resources.

We look forward to learning more these next few days!

-Kaitlin & Emma