Helping Victims Become Victors

MOUNT OLIVE- With domestic violence at an all time high in eastern North Carolina, University of Mount Olive psychology major Jessica Bashlor is doing her best to change this major concern through her education.

Bashlor, a native of Clinton, NC, spent this last semester interning at U Care where she helped provide resources and aid to abuse victims all over Sampson County. U Care is domestic violence shelter with a mission to break the cycle of domestic abuse through awareness, treatment, and counseling.

“U Care is located in the county that I have lived in all my life,” Bashlor said, “and I never knew there was so much domestic violence in the my area. U Care is a fantastic organization that not only provides shelter for victims; they also help them get on their feet and find a way that they can live on their own and support themselves.”

She continued her praise of U Care saying, “Whether that means going to court with clients, writing out weekly plans in order to help them accomplish individual goals, or by just taking the time to chat, everyone is more than willing to help in any way they can.”

Bashlor’s internship also provided her the opportunity to work directly with the executive director of U Care, learning valuable management skills. Bashlor said that “this opportunity has been very beneficial to me. Not only am I learning how to work with clients, but I am also learning how to interact with and manage employees.”

Enjoying her time at U Care, Bashlor commented on the uniqueness of the program as her motivation to join the U Care team for her internship. She noted, “U Care provides help to everyone involved in domestic abuse, even the abuser. They have classes and support groups for those who fall under the abuser category. This is important to me because in order to stop the cycle of domestic violence you cannot just rescue the victims, you must also help the ones that made them victims.”

Admitting that her internship at U Care was challenging, Bashlor remarked that it was hard for her to learn that you cannot help everyone. “To my surprise, some people did not want help. They would come in for help one day, and the next day you would be waiting on them to arrive for court to get their protective order and they would never show. They sometimes would end up dropping all the charges, and even going back to their abuser.”

Bashlor’s training at U Care is part of University of Mount Olive’s clinical internship program provided through the Department of Psychology. This internship entails 128 hours of service to the setting of the student’s choice.

Bashlor has had the opportunity to complete not only one, but two clinical internships. “I would encourage any student to complete as many internships as possible. No value can be placed on the knowledge and experience you gain when completing an internship,” Bashlor said.

Without University of Mount Olive and the Psychology Department, Bashlor recognizes that this experience would not have been possible. “University of Mount Olive has not only prepared me for the career that I have chosen, but they have also given me experiences that have made me into a better person. My professors share real-life experiences, and for me, that is what learning is all about.”

Bashlor is a rising senior at University of Mount Olive and plans to pursue a master degree in psychology after graduating in hopes of one day opening her own private practice. Bashlor is a member of Destiny Outreach in Clinton, NC where she teaches dance and oversee the “Parent’s Unchained” program which gives parents time off by providing children fun filled activities. She is married to Walter Bashlor of three years, and is the daughter of Gail and Darwin Millen.

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit www.moc.edu.