Lisbon, Portugal Airport (Lisboa)

First Responder…

I recently shared a bite of my journey on my company’s website. It’s about one of my experiences working on the front lines of domestic violence advocacy pre-COVID-19. Domestic violence, or intimate-partner violence, is one of those subjects that most of us steer clear of. I get it! It’s a tragic segment of our human experience and a major contributor to physical and mental ill health* of the individuals, families and communities who have endured it. And, some of us continue to believe in the need to support others while remaining true to being a part of the solution.

My time spent within the many walls of domestic violence shelters as an advocate-turned-leader has shaped and impacted so many areas of my life… so returning back here to the cookie jar, and still floating off of coffee fumes in the wee hours of the morning, is what continues to give me peace. I hope those who find these pages will also find peace–


Photo: Taken aboard TAP Air Portugal, in Lisbon, right before the 2020 travel bans set in. This was one of the most amazing flights and crews I’ve ever experienced! Surreal… in times of great turbulence during an 8-hour flight, mostly over the Atlantic Ocean, the crew showed unshakable strength.

Copyright © 2021 CJ Spencer. All rights reserved. For blog and photography terms of use, contact

*Shah et. al., 2012


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