…And then there were five: Meet our new Director of Advocacy and Outreach, Natalie!

My name is Natalie Ivey and I am the newest member of the team here at the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking.  My journey to the world of victim service is a long story, and while I typically never pass up an opportunity to tell a story to a captive audience, I’ll try to stick to the highlights.  I went to law school after graduating with a degree in History from Tennessee Technological University in part because there was not a bustling job market for new historians at the time, but also because I was drawn to the idea of advocating for others.

My education at the University of Tennessee College of Law solidified my desire to advocate for underrepresented populations.  I began my legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the 13th Judicial District prosecuting crimes of domestic and sexual violence.  While my time as a prosecutor gave me invaluable experience and training, I found myself frustrated with the confines of the criminal justice system.   As I learned more about the cycle of violence and control, I found that I wanted to do more to provide long-term help to victims of domestic violence.  I left the legal field to become the Executive Director of Genesis House, Inc., a nonprofit organization that serves victims of domestic and sexual violence through crisis care, emergency shelter, legal and medical advocacy and goods assistance.  During my time at Genesis House, we worked with local community partners to establish the Upper Cumberland Family Justice Center.

When my husband’s job brought us to Knoxville I decided to take a break from the world of social work.  We had two beautiful babies in two years and my hands were full.  For the last three years I have been working with a wonderful local law firm as an estate and probate attorney, and while this experience has given me the opportunity to learn, grow and, most importantly, breathe, I was always a little heartsick.  The position of Director of Advocacy and Outreach seemed like a perfect fit for my skillset and I was so excited to join the team here.  So, long story not so short…I am happy to be here and can’t wait to start advocating for victims of human trafficking.

My home is full and crazy with two little girls, a dog named Taco and a cat named Spock, and it is my favorite place to be with my husband, James.  My wish is to make a better world for my girls while doing what I love, and I’m grateful the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking has given me the opportunity to do just that.