Content Warning: Acknowledgement of intimate partner violence and abuse

The core belief that governs Hedge Witch Botanicals and that gave rise to the Tending the Hedge interview series would be one of radical self-care— a commitment to healing ourselves and our communities, an embracing of mutual aid and our interconnectedness, a recognition that each of us already has a unique capacity to make the world a better place.

Since starting my business in 2018, I have experienced all sorts of surprising challenges and joys from running a business, but one of the most magical and unexpected gifts has been the community that I have discovered. I have connected with herbalists, artists, educators, and activists, all bravely sharing their magic with the world, and I am continually in awe of these inspiring humans. 

And today’s featured magic-maker is indeed inspiring, for her work has helped many individuals in need! Kristin Proven is the Development Director of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County.

Serving the community since 1979 as a comprehensive victims services agency, the mission of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County is to assist and provide direct services to victims/survivors of violence and crime in Jefferson County, NY. Victimization does not end with the violence of the crime itself. The Victims Assistance Center recognizes these complex issues and assists individuals and families in our community through a variety of direct services.

To say this feature is close to my heart would be an understatement. I have been open about my experience of starting HWB in the wake of an abusive relationship. I am forever grateful for the help I received from my then-local Victims Assistance Center as I navigated the legal challenges surrounding DV, and I am such a proponent of their work. For those able, please consider a donation… or purchase a ticket to their 2nd Annual Witches Gala! I attended in 2022, and I am so excited to attend again this year!

For now, I am honored to share Kristin’s feature, and hope you enjoy, too!

What are your pronouns and what is your sign?

My pronouns are she/her and my astrological sign is Pisces – which I am told are often described as imaginative, compassionate, and intuitive.

Are you a witch? If so, what does that word mean to you?

Not necessarily, but it depends on who you ask! I do however have a few tricks up my sleeve. 😉

What drew you to your work? Why is it important?

I think what drew me in to work at the Victims Assistance Center was my ability to make a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable individuals and families. While I do not work hand in hand with clients every day, the work I do helps provide a range of essential services and supports to survivors of abuse and their families. Fundraising generates the necessary financial resources to maintain and expand services when they are limited to grant standards. Planning events has always been my passion, but how great is it that I get to plan the events that will in turn make a difference in someone’s life?! 

For me, event planning is not just a profession but a heartfelt commitment to making a positive impact. It’s a way to bring together communities, sponsors, and supporters of our organization together for a great cause. My goal is to continue to raise awareness of the great things the Victims Assistance Center does for this community, building connections with community members and supporters to increase knowledge of VAC programs, and to inspire action and change in the communities we serve.

How can others engage with this work and tend the hedge in their own communities?

The best way that others can engage in helping victims of crime and “tending the hedge” would be to get involved with fundraising opportunities or volunteer options!

Did you enjoy this feature? Check out other magic-makers in the Tending the Hedge series!


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