Julie Coffey is the new Director of Program Services at Steps to End Domestic Violence. In this role, Julie oversees all of our direct services, including economic justice, legal advocacy, emergency housing in our shelter and Safehome programs, transitional housing, and our children's program.
We spoke with Julie to learn a bit more about her:
Q What excites you about working at Steps to End Domestic Violence?
A I am utterly inspired by the people I’ve met at Steps to End Domestic Violence. Every single staff person works so darn hard and each plays an essential and unique role in the lives of people who walk through “our doors.” I am also impressed by the organization’s multi-dimensional approach to combat domestic violence. It looks a lot like the 4-level social-ecological model supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which considers the “complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors. It allows us to understand the range of factors that put people at risk for violence or protect them from experiencing or perpetrating violence.” 1
Having worked in the fields of mental health, sexual and family violence, and crisis response to child and family policy advocacy, it is this multi-level approach that I believe will reduce the rates of domestic and sexual violence in our communities and in our society.
Q Where were you before this position?
A I served as Executive Director of Building Bright Futures, the governor’s early childhood advisory council and statewide network. There I did a lot of convening, collaborating, catalyzing, and coordinating of the state council members and 12 local early childhood councils in building the quality, access, and affordability of Vermont’s system of early care, health, and education.
Q Having been at Steps to End Domestic Violence for a few weeks, what would you say has been the most eye opening experience for you?
A Working in state policy advocacy for the last four years, I felt I was working on behalf of children and families, but working at Steps to End Domestic Violence I am much more connected. I love that my office is housed at the Emergency Shelter, ground zero for people starting new lives, who have recently fled a violent relationship and their children who were either victimized themselves or exposed to violence. There is no more sobering sight than looking into the eyes of a child and seeing fear or quiet sadness. No child should ever live in fear of violence.
Q What do you like to do in your spare time?
A Nature is church for me so I like to walk in the woods a lot. I love movies, music, books, and travel. I try to get to a beach as often as I can and now that I have recently bought a bicycle, I am going to start biking.
Q If you had to sum yourself up in a word what would that word be?
A Problem-Solver. That is 2 words but I hyphenated them so can I count it as one…..?
Learn more about the PROGRAMS of Steps to End Domestic Violence.
1: Injury Prevention & Control: Division of Violence Prevention; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/overview/social-ecologicalmodel.html