Mrs. Shavontana “Starr” Davis, Esquire, is a woman dedicated to positively impacting her community through mentorship and motivation, serving as both a resource and beacon of hope for youth.
A native of Louisville, KY Starr came from a tumultuous upbringing that has made her a resilient woman who is passionate about the care and treatment of youth within the justice system and beyond. At the age of seven, Starr experienced her first encounter with sexual abuse at the hands of her male family members. It happened to her, as it has to so many other youth and the abuse left her paralyzed, confused and totally ashamed. She thought it must have been something she did to make this happen, and she knew, even though no one had told her, she knew she had to keep silent. At seven, she rationalized her silence and endured the abuse for years throughout her childhood. And for nearly two decades, Starr remained silent about her pain, not naming her abusers to her family until she was in her thirties.
“I was numb to the experience of sex, and I didn’t think I had anything to give to a partner.”
In the midst of her trauma, Starr made reckless decisions with her body, and thought of herself as used up and incapable of being in a healthy romantic relationship. It was during her time as a student at Florida State University, as she pursued her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, that she met Devin, the man who would one day become her husband and loving father to her children. Starr earned her undergraduate degree in 2005, and went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2011, where she was an active member of the Black Law Students Association and trial team.
Starr’s journey to healing was a long one, and when she was a child she knew of no program to help her deal with her abuse.
“It took me a lot longer to get here, than if I’d had someone in my life at a young age to help me deal with everything I was feeling.”
Starr learned that she was not only capable of love, but she was worthy of being loved, and she and Devin married. She has gone on to give birth to two beautiful children, and is a modern day Renaissance Woman, with accolades as a successful attorney, she has managed to build a life with which she is fulfilled and is able to now use her experience to help others.
Starr proudly served as an Assistant Public Defender in Fulton County for five years, ensuring that individuals who cannot afford counsel still received the compassionate, competent, and zealous representation deserved by all. During her tenure, she successfully defended men and women charged in the Superior Court of Fulton County with felony offenses ranging from murder and rape, to drug trafficking and drug possession. Starr represented youthful offenders who found themselves entangled in the Juvenile Justice System. Starr also represented adult and minor survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking. Seeing youth go through the justice system had a profound impact on her, and re-ignited her passion to begin her brainchild, The Starr Institute. Starr is driven by the desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others, and so she has dedicated herself to developing The Starr Institute’s programs, with a focus on uplifting youth who have been sexually abused, and reminding them that there is light at the end of the tunnel.