Melanie Sachs was raised in Salem, New Hampshire, as an only child but a social butterfly. Melanie is a survivor of child sexual abuse at ages 9-11 by her babysitters’ sons and sexual assault at 12 years old by a distant relative of her best friend at the time. At 23, she was sexually harassed/assaulted through physical touch and comments about her body by a mechanic known to her family for many years.
Melanie obtained her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Keene State College in 2013. Post-graduation, Melanie accepted a position under the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She served in the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program from 2013-2015 as a crisis center advocate at A Safe Place (now known as HAVEN). During that time, Melanie was also hired as a per-diem shelter advocate for HAVEN on the night/overnight shift in the imminent danger shelter.
Melanie relocated to Cape Cod, MA, in October 2015 to pursue her dream job at a child advocacy center in her dream location. As family advocate, Melanie helps families navigate all systems and provides support in many capacities for families who walk through the doors of Children’s Cove as the result of child sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, witness in domestic violence, or CSEC (trafficking). She has participated in many conferences and trainings to enhance her ability to serve victims of crime in her community and beyond.
Melanie is an active member in her faith community at Harbor Church in Hyannis, MA, and has a passion for sharing her testimony of how her faith healed her on a deeper level since she defined it in 2014. Melanie aspires to inspire people from all walks of life every single day.
Melanie has presented to many schools and local organizations in Massachusetts in her role as family advocate. She has spoken about the child advocacy center model, the multi-disciplinary team process, personal body safety, and support for non-offending caregivers to various audiences of advocates, clinicians, law enforcement, school personnel, summer camp staff, and local agency partnerships of individuals who work with kids and families. Melanie also presented 2018 and 2019 at the THRIVE Conference at Cape Cod Church about her role as a family advocate and participated in a panel on human trafficking/child sexual exploitation.
Melanie has shared her survivor story at various events and fundraisers for New Hampshire Child Advocacy Centers. She has also made herself available to present to their multi-disciplinary teams, which include law enforcement and DCF personnel). Melanie’s story will be featured in New Hampshire’s Know and Tell e-course under the “PROTECT” module. Melanie has been featured in the SHINE Campaign, presented at the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference in June 2018, and was the Keynote Speaker at the West Virginia Child Advocacy Center (WVCAN) Annual Conference in 2019.
Melanie is a dedicated volunteer at Camp Sunshine in Maine, which serves kids who have faced life-threatening illnesses. She volunteers multiple times a year and attends events to fund research and to help families financially. She is also on the Board of Directors for Sophia’s Fund, assisting with social media and events. She is on the Board of Written on Your Heart, which seeks to engage communities and support survivors of human trafficking through encouraging cards and awareness events. She assists with social media and mailing out cards directly to survivors. She is also a volunteer for Bags of Hope Ministries and is on the Survivor Support Committee for PAVE (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment), helping with their social media projects/national campaigns and running their Survivor Support page.
Melanie is on a mission to become the woman she was always destined to be — a survivor who is more than her story and desires to help others do the same. Melanie is an avid softball player and spends her free time reading and writing while enjoying spontaneous travels and life. She takes many walks on the beach searching for sea glass and enjoys the ocean waves in any season.