I am in love with my job.
Each time I go to the office I am heart-broken but mended again, and I love to be part of the cure.
In August I became a Women's Aid volunteer in my local area: Women's Aid, Co. Antrim Through this I have got to meet women from all sorts of backgrounds, got to help care for their children and to be part of the jigsaw of recovery they are going through.
The funny thing is that since starting I have had people from my own life confide things in me - about their own experiences with an abusive partner, their sisters or friends. I have had conversations about service provision, feelings and ideas.
As I've always been aware of health and social care services in my area I was always aware of Women's Aid in general, but not specifics. I've never experienced domestic violence or abuse but have empathy enough to want to help.
I told a friend where I volunteered and he looked at me blankly and asked if that was like the Women's Institute.... No, not quite.
Awareness raising is key. In fact, it's part of my role as a volunteer, but also as a member of society.
Over the next week or so, including the 25th November which is the White Ribbon Campaign day I will be doing a series of posts about Women's Aid, women's issues and awareness raising. On the 25th I will do a post about White Ribbon.
Women are not property or commodities, loss of control is a poor excuse. All people are precious and no one deserves violence or to witness violence in their home. Often I hear "oh, why didn't she just leave him?" To that I always respond by saying, "why didn't he just stop beating her?" It's a very tangled web, and I'll explore it a bit more soon.