Shannon Rose is Safe and Sound’s ChISVA Domestic Abuse Case Worker. Here she talks about how volunteering opened up new career opportunities for her.

I was changing careers and started volunteering at SHOUT, the crisis text line, and after speaking to people who had suffered sexual violence, I wanted to do more to help survivors.

After some research I was drawn towards an ISVA role (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) but I needed to gain experience in the sector.

I came across Safe and Sound and after meeting with them and learning about the service, I became a volunteer, helping with outreach, youth clubs, and activities within the charity. I was given the opportunity to shadow a caseworker a few days a week to gain valuable experience working children and young people and learn more about CSE. In time, this was then turned into a part time role as a caseworker and, within a few months, this became full time, taking on a project that worked with children and young people that had experienced domestic violence in the home or was experiencing domestic abuse in their own relationships.

While I was working part time for Safe and Sound, I also got a job as a crisis worker in a Sexual Assault Referral Centre – supporting victims through a forensic medical examination after rape or sexual assault to add to my knowledge in the sexual violence sector. I was then given the opportunity to train to become the ISVA which I had always wanted to be within Safe and Sound. My role includes supporting young girls to speak up about sexual violence they have experienced and support them in their journey through the criminal justice system and help them with their recovery and empower them to take back control of their life and give them the support to do this.

This isn’t just a job to me, this is a vocation, and watching survivors grow makes this difficult job worthwhile.