Theresa M. Lacey is soon to be a 2016 cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina Beaufort's Human Services program. Before enrolling in the program, Theresa was already working at Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse, a local non-profit agency that works to prevent intimate partner violence via education, social policy change and support services to victims.
Both on campus, and in the Lowcountry community, Theresa is a tireless human services professional, advocate, educator and leader. From the beginning of her studies, she has been able to improve her practical effectiveness by implementing the theories, concepts and techniques learned in the classroom. She works one-on-one with victims and speaks at classroom and public events often promoting policy improvement with law enforcement, prosecutors and elected officials. She is truly one of our shining heroines.
As my graduation from the University of South Carolina Beaufort approaches, I look forward to continuing my work at Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA). The impetus for my return to school four years ago was to gain the education to back-up the personal and professional knowledge I have about domestic violence in South Carolina. One of the issues we face with regards to intimate partner violence is a lack of education about its causes, prevention, treatment interventions and best policies to end the abuse. Moving forward, I will be developing programs aimed at specific arenas, such as the judiciary system, which will educate them on how to handle domestic violence and empower victims to become survivors. I also want to increase our community's awareness that intimate partner violence is a social issue, not just a private matter. I will be engaging the community via expanding awareness at events and garnering positive media attention.