Supporter Spotlight: Q&A with Suzanne Thorniley

Suzanne Thorniley, a licensed therapist trained in domestic violence work, is a supporter of TAP’s Domestic Violence Services (DVS) and has volunteered with the program for the past eight years. Her passion for the work of DVS is contagious. Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with Suzanne and reflect on her experience with the program.

Q: How did you first become aware of TAP’s Domestic Violence Services?

A: I had moved here from West Virginia and was waiting for my clinical social work license to be transferred here, and in the meantime I wanted to keep my skills honed. I had been trained in DVS work in West Virginia and thought it would be a good idea to volunteer as a therapist until my license transferred. I started volunteering eight years ago and have watched this program grow and deepen and strengthen over those eight years.

…I’m there [usually] one day a week. The staff members always thank me for being there; they are so gracious—there’s always a smile, always someone to chat with. Although I’m not officially on the staff I feel so appreciated and so much a part of the team.

Q: What good things do you see TAP’s DVS doing for our community?

A: I watch the staff being devoted to [mostly] women and families when they are in crisis. The staff members are on the front lines—they are there, available 24 hours a day, knowledgeable and sensitive. They are there when victims that then become survivors need them.

They also educate and reach out to the community. In October there’s lots of education in the community to build awareness. Most of the community still would choose to hold a blind eye to family violence because people don’t really want to know the dangerous situations that many families are living in. DVS keeps chipping away at that and continuing to try to broaden awareness in the community. When the community is more aware, the more support these individuals will have.

Q: Why do you personally support DVS?

A: I’m skilled in this area, and it’s really important to me to be involved and engaged. I feel like this is a place where I can truly make a difference and I believe I do. DVS has allowed me to do that. They’ve given me the opportunity to be flexible with my schedule. I want to support them in the ways that are most effective.

Q: If someone were considering making a donation to DVS, what would you want them to know?

A: The program always needs resources; there will probably continue to be funding cuts and there are several specific areas that will need continued support such as legal assistance, help with bills, and help with transportation. As a donor and as a philanthropist I would want to contribute to those areas of greatest need.

Click here to find out how you can become a TAP supporter like Suzanne.