Devon Larkin works in ministry. Not in a sanctuary but with sexual assault survivors. Devon is a sexual assault forensic nurse examiner for the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. Devon meets with survivors of sexual assault, both women and men, within five days of their assault to collect possible evidence from their bodies, regardless if they are reporting it to law enforcement.
These are her words. I really have nothing to add to them. They are mercy.
It can be such a hard job, witnessing what one human is capable of doing to another. When I first started, I remember calling my dad, wondering what the point of it all was, knowing most would never receive the justice they deserved and desired. It was through that conversation that I came to realize, the biggest part of my job was being present. I would never be able to control how the investigation or prosecution would go, but I could be present. I could perform my part with compassion and excellence. I could listen to someone’s painful experience, let them know they were believed, listen without judgment, treat them with dignity, and let them know this experience does not define them.
I may be one of the first and only persons they ever speak of about their experience and I have the opportunity to start the healing process by being compassionate while conducting my exam. WCJ is a non-profit and the Rape Recovery Team which I am a part of, is one small component of their services. I am grateful, God put me here and I truly receive more than give from my work. As I remind my children, to whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48). This life is a stepping stone and not permanent. We are all called to serve others as much as possible. Read more