Volunteer Feature: Emilija Kraii
Sexual assault is by far one of the most pervasive acts of violence in society. It is also an area of work that is difficult for those servicing survivors. Programs like Wayne County SAFE rely heavily on the community to provide quality and timely support for survivors of sexual violence. For example, volunteers contribute their time and skills to advocate for survivors of sexual violence. There is no doubt that Wayne County SAFE relies heavily on volunteers to provide outreach to the community, 24-hour crisis intervention, and other forms of support to survivors.
Emilija Kraii, featured in this post, is by far one of our most dedicated volunteers. Serving as a First Responder, she is empathetic, caring and compassionate when working with survivors. We are honored to have her as part of our family! Learn more about Emilija below!
Q: What led you to volunteer at Wayne County SAFE?
A: I, like many other people, was outraged at the discovery of the untested rape kits in Detroit. I’d seen how devastating sexual assault can be to a survivor and their immediate loved ones and couldn’t reconcile this with the low priority status given to the crime. WC SAFE’s mission perfectly aligned with my concerns.
Q: What do you like/love about volunteering at Wayne County SAFE?
A: As a first responder, I feel great satisfaction knowing that survivors of sexual assault are being treated with respect and affection in their moment of crisis. This volunteer work fills me with a sense of purpose and the organization is so welcoming that I continually feel appreciated and part of the family.
Q: Tell us more about your background.
A: I received a Master’s degree in social work from Wayne State University in 2011 and my field placement was in Southwest Detroit working with school aged children. I also worked at the Center for Urban Studies with the resident grant writer. I have been a stay at home mother of two wonderful girls for the last ten years and feel it is now time to put my social work degree to good use.
Q: Why is this work important to you?
A: I feel that this work is necessary and unfortunately a great need. Sexual assault is far too common and its harmful effects ripple out from the survivor into the wider community. Aiding in the healing is important work and very fulfilling for me.
Q: Outside of this work?
A: I have fallen in love with the work, staff, and volunteers at WC SAFE and will most certainly be applying for employment here if an opening comes along. Volunteering here for almost two years has given me a glimpse into the lives of survivors in crisis–I would feel privileged to play a greater part in their healing as well as work on ways to tackle sexual assault on a more macro scale through legislation and community organizing. My career goals underlie my goals as a mother: to be a role model for my girls, help create a better environment for them in which they can grow up confident and strong and teach them that social problems are not intractable when dedicated people work together to eradicate them.