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This Hampton domestic violence awareness advocate has devoted decades to helping survivors

Darryle Brown has helped hundreds of people and families rebuild over the last three decades after breaking free of their abusers. And she's just getting started.

HAMPTON, Va. — Darryle Brown has spent more than 30 years restoring lives and families.

"I do have a passion for bringing awareness to domestic violence, but not just bringing awareness, but asking people to put some action behind that awareness," Brown, the director of outreach services at Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton, said.

The nonprofit provides programs and services to people experiencing domestic violence and human trafficking on the Peninsula.

Brown helps provide a safe haven for survivors.

"I also work with our court advocates to just make sure that survivors are getting their needs met," Brown said. "I set up tables or go out and do presentations for people to help bring awareness to domestic violence."

Brown is known for giving hope to people and families who may have lost everything.

"'Hey, you're a person of worth', you know, 'you're fearfully and wonderfully made', you know, 'how can I assist you,'" Brown said. "Not getting upset when maybe somebody lashes out at you, because I know it's not me. You're upset with this whole situation. And so, I can handle that."

Her love for others is easy to see, much like the sign bearing the name of the newly-renovated Transitions shelter.

In 2020, at the shelter's grand re-opening after a flood, its new name, Darryle's Heart, was revealed. And the reveal was much to Brown's surprise.

"I was shocked, and I was very honored," Brown said. "Because the shelter has been my heart. Working there, working with survivors, seeing the change in people. We're on the journey with them, but we're not driving the bus. They're driving the bus. We're passengers."

While she's helped save hundreds of lives, Brown said there's still more work to be done.

"Yes, the work is hard. And sometimes, it gets to be a little overwhelming," Brown said. "But as far as me, myself, am I thinking about retiring? No. I love what I do. If I can make a difference in one person's life, then OK."

Visit the Transitions Family Violence Services website for more information. You can also follow the nonprofit on Facebook, sign up to volunteer or intern, make a donation, or support a survivor.

And if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or human trafficking and in need of immediate help, call the Transitions 24-hour crisis hotline at 757-723-7774.

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