As an African-American woman with a largely black staff, Smith is also able to service black women who might feel uncomfortable or alienated in a mainstream services facility — in a unique way.

Housed in offices painted pretty shades of purple and pink, Purple R.E.I.G.N. offers a place for women to have rape kits administered that is far warmer than the typical hospital. There are spaces to work out in the basement, so women can take care of themselves as they rebuild their lives.

Most of all, there is Smith herself, who with her bright smile and cozy office full of photos and mementoes, is a living testimony to the power one has to overcome abuse.

Sometimes women need that extra level of comfort when coming out of that scenario. Seeing a woman who looks like them who has overcome helps to counter the destructiveness they are trying to escape.

“Domestic violence is about power and control,” Smith said. “It is learned behavior used to dominate, manipulate, and control another person. The cycle of violence is both dangerous and destructive.”

Breaking the cycle of abuse