Student Information

Student Name

Kasandra Martinez




Internship Information

Company/Organization: Shelter Our Sisters

Mentor(s):Gervonn Rice

Topic of Internship

Domestic Violence

Background Information

Taken from Shelter Our Sisters’ website, their mission statement says, “Our mission is to assist women and children victims of emotional, economic, sexual and/or physical abuse. The agency provides emergency and transitional housing, emotional support, and a diversified continuum of services focused on safety, empowerment, and self-sufficiency. Through community partnerships, SOS raises awareness, provides services, and educates community members about domestic violence”. Dating all the way back to 753 BC when “wife beating” was accepted in Rome, domestic violence has relatively always been an issue, but the United States’ first battered women’s shelter was not opened until 1973. Shelter Our Sisters was one of the first shelters for domestic violence victims in New Jersey. It is a non-profit agency and was founded in 1976. SOS is an organization that helps those whom have fallen as victims to domestic violence, and it provides emergency shelter for those women and children and even transitional housing for after they leave the shelter. SOS helps women to gain their independence and control over their own lives. In order to help these women start a new beginning in their lives, Shelter Our Sisters provides them with legal assistance, art therapy, counseling support groups and many other resources.

Summary of Internship

While I have interned at Shelter Our Sisters, I have learned a lot about different aspects of domestic violence, such as the importance of confidentiality and how large of an issue domestic violence is among the nation and even internationally. I have also learned the role of a volunteer during my everyday tasks at the shelter and during a 40 hour volunteer training program run by the organization. I have learned that I am only responsible for certain things as a volunteer and I should not feel responsible for doing tasks outside my guidelines as an intern. These tasks include hotline screening, working the front desk, and caring for residents’ children. Apart from performing these tasks, I have also had the opportunity to observe the workers in the shelter cover more sensitive topics, which has given me a lot of exposure to the inner workings and everyday tasks at the shelter. I enjoy my internship because even though I am helping the staff and clients at the SOS, it is actually a very rewarding experience for me. It is rather humbling to work as even just a small part of such a big help that Shelter Our Sisters works so hard to provide domestic violence victims with.

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