Pat Blackstone, WCF’s Court Advocate, was recently named the 2017 Crime Victim Advocate of the Year by the Crime Victims Assistance Association of Arkansas. There is truly no one more deserving of this award, as Pat has been known for decades to be a true and determined champion for victims of domestic violence and their families. Pat was also featured as a Little Rock Big Hero in the April issue of Little Rock Soiree. We are incredibly thankful for the work Pat does and honored to have her as a part of the WCF team.
Pat works as WCF’s Court Advocate for our domestic violence victims. She aids them in petitioning for protective orders that legally shield them from the reach of their abusers, gives them moral support, and often accompanies them to court. She has been in this position since September 2011. However, Pat has been an advocate for victims of domestic violence for decades.
She is reminded of the experience obtained working with teen parents for New Futures, being the Director of Dorcas House and Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and gives credit to them being the reasons she is able to assist nearly 100 guests each month as the Court Advocate for Women and Children First.
Pat recalls growing up, until age 13, in a violent home and seeing the progression of services for victims and their children. However, there were no orders of protection, battered women’s shelters, and VOCA, and VAWA had no existence. Over the years she has worked in the legislature to pass laws that weren’t available to her mother, grandmother and women of their generations. Although she doesn’t dwell in her past, when overwhelmed, she explains that she is reminded that she may be the first person in the system to tell a victim, “I believe you, I am here to help you and it is not your fault.”
Pat is someone who understands the dynamics of abuse, and how women and children are affected. She describes that after being retired and coming back to work being a part of WCF has brought her “full circle.” She has expressed, “the work that is done 24 hours a day by the advocates at Women and Children First is not measured in dollars but by every woman, child and male victims that can rest in the fact that they have reached a place of love, hope and healing.”
Her response when encountering people who are disadvantaged has never consisted of just words. Every day she lives a life of service by working tirelessly to help and care for others.
Photo Credit: Jason Masters Photography