By Dawn Trivolis • May 06, 2019•Features
When I worked at Boise Girls Academy, I helped the clients (teenage girls with risky behaviors) learn how to speak for themselves. Many times, their own voices had been lost in the poor decisions they had made in the past. They followed the crowd. Over time, I helped the girls see themselves differently. By building trust, the girls shared their fears, hopes, and goals. Their future was bright—not bound to a life sentence of continual poor choices. After working at Boise Girls Academy, I needed to practice that advocacy myself.
The recent break-down of my marriage resulted in many life changes. I enrolled in law school (something I had contemplated pre-divorce), resigned from my job in order to go to law school full-time, and learned how to advocate for myself. The reasons for my divorce are painful and private. However, going through a divorce made me stop, look in the mirror, and say to myself, “Just because this has failed, that doesn’t mean your life is over.” My marriage, of course, had ups and down. I, however, had not realized the “downs” were taking over until we were at the end of our marriage. I sat down with a counselor and started working on me. I realized that much of my adult life had been absorbed into my marriage, our children, and my career. All of those were important things. But, I had lost part of myself by taking care of everyone else. I was living under the thought that if everyone else was okay, I was okay, regardless of whether or not I was okay. Through counseling, I learned the opposite—if I was okay, most likely everyone else would be okay. I would be in a better position to care for my children and do my job. I began to share my thoughts and feelings, put my foot down in critical areas of the divorce proceedings, and make sure that I was represented. I filed the divorce paperwork myself and worked with my ex-husband for the best solution for myself and my children. I did not want to divorce. However, I was on that path and was determined that I would make it through better and thriving. I am almost one year post-divorce. It is something I never imagined would happen. But, I am thankful that going through a divorce caused me to speak up for myself and advocate in difficult situations.
My desire is to serve my local community as a prosecutor. Defense attorneys are traditionally known as advocates for their clients. Prosecutors, though, are the advocates for the government. My career as an in-court clerk for criminal magistrates opened my eyes to crimes happening in my own community. Some of these crimes were minor (traffic violations). Some, though, were heinous and horrific. Being in the courtroom for closed-door probable cause hearings and hearing about incidents of child abuse, domestic violence, and the sexual exploitation of children deeply affected me. Although the children victimized through the Internet were not always living in my community, some of the children were the same age as my own children. The predators, though, were members of my community. I would leave court wondering what I could do, if anything, to help stop these heinous crimes. I am passionate about being an attorney who prosecutes child predators. The voices of victimized children are missing from our society. Who hears them when they cry at night, scared and alone? Only their captor or those who feel nothing for their pain. Their lives end in a flash—often without anyone knowing. Prosecuting those who prey on and harm children may not ease that child’s pain. But, successful prosecution may result in one less child being victimized by that particular defendant. Children are the future of our world. Children are imprisoned by child pornography producers. Do we not care about these children just because their faces are partially blindfolded or they have no name? I want to use a career in public interest work to speak for and uplift the voice of these victimized children and share with my community that this is a problem happening here—not somewhere else, but right here. Together, we can help end the Internet victimization of all children.