Debra Robbin

“Domestic violence and sexual assault can intersect with any other issue. We take an intersectional approach which is around sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia, and I like how we get to think about these issues in the context of an anti-oppression lens and the way those oppressions are connected.”

 

Interviewee: Debra Robbin

Interviewer: Jenny P., Grade 12

Interview Date: January 29, 2015

Interview Location: Jane Doe Inc., Boston, MA

Student Reflection:

Debra Robbin is the executive director at Jane Doe Inc. and has been working for women’s rights for 32 years. She is interested in how the general public thinks about and understands sexual assault and violence in an effort to better prevent it from happening. Robbin likes to get involved in issues on a national level and likes that at Jane Doe, Inc., “we are working at an influential level.” The most memorable experience for her was in the month of October, also known a domestic violence awareness month, when she got to thank Deval Patrick and his administration for all the work they had done in coordination with organizations like Jane Doe, Inc., on behalf of sexual assault and abuse survivors. Surrounded by inspiration to do the work she does, Robbin looks to her sister-in-law, a worker, poet, and social justice activist, as her biggest source of support and inspiration.

 

“I love that the flavor of who we are is influenced by our membership, which is really different than just working with a single organization when you have a constituency.”

“We are affecting how people are seeing an issue when they read an article.”

“It’s all about building relationships.”

“Running an organization is hard, not having enough staff, being persuasive, etc. ”

“I am very, very privileged to get payed to do social justice work.”

“It feels good to do good, meaningful work.”

“Doing work that you feel good about everyday, I feel inspired by the victims and survivors we do the work for.”

“Domestic violence and sexual assault can intersect with any other issue. We take an intersectional approach which is around sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia, and I like how we get to think about these issues in the context of an anti-oppression lens and the way those oppressions are connected.”

“We are the go-to place when people have a question about something.”

“Having a sense of humor is really important, work is hard but it has to be fun.”

“I have learned more about patience through this job.”

“It’s really important that people have the right to safety and to feel being in the world is not a dangerous place. I think the work we do to support services is really important.”