Position: DVCS Young People’s Outreach Employee
When did you start working with DVCS: November 2014
What do you think is unique about DVCS: DVCS’ commitment to staff and the culture of inclusiveness, I think are very important and unique to DVCS.
What is your favourite thing about Canberra: As a relatively new resident of Canberra I can honestly say that Canberra is one of the most beautiful places in Australia. It is so family friendly with places to go and things to do that don’t cost anything. I love the seasonal changes that allow people to ebb and flow with teh rhythm of nature. The access to services for Canberrans is far superior to other towns I have lived in and there is a real community spirit that is felt throughout the ACT. And I can’t forget to mention the Canberra Raiders!
Why do you think organisations like DVCS are important: I grew up in a home where my father used violence toward my mother until I was 14 years old. Mum and I became so exhausted from the energy it takes to survive these conditions that there was little left in us to seek help. A few times my Mum reached out to services for assistance, however in the 1980s and 1990s there were very limited supports for families and an even less understanding of the impacts of violence. Organisations like DVCS are paramount to families who at their time of readiness, need to know that when they seek help, there is somewhere out there that will believe their story, respond to their genuine fear of being harmed or killed by a person with a very powerful position in their lives and be supported to recognise that there is hope for a life free of violence and fear. Due to the unique dynamic of domestic violence and the complex trauma experienced by those who are victims of domestic violence, it is specialist services with staff trained as experts in the field that make the difference to those seeking support. DVCS provides exactly that.
What would be the one message you want people to take away from reading about you: The message I try to highlight when speaking about working within the DV sector is that domestic violence is, by it’s very nature, isolating. The imprisonment a person feels is very real despite being told by the outside world that there are ways out. For those living in fear everyday there is a little sense of agency, therefore social expectations to get yourself and your children out of such a relationship is only adding extra pressure to a woman who already feels she has no power to protect herself and her children. The success I have felt over the past eight plus years comes from knowing that however big or small outcomes are for a family I have been supporting, the most significant thing I can offer my clients is recognition of their strength and unbelievable resourcefulness to survive.