Volunteering here made sense

Jaclyn – Broxtowe Women’s Project Volunteer

Volunteer work is a critical part of any charitable organisation. I have worked and volunteered with a number of organisations over the years. There are many reasons why I volunteer – it’s meaningful, I gain valuable experience, I’m exposed to new ways of thinking, and I am privileged to work alongside diverse people who broaden my perspective of the world.

I have lived in Nottingham now just over 18 months. My family and I moved here from Canada so my husband could attend the University of Nottingham. We have two young children, both of whom are now in school at least part-time. And I decided I now have time to dedicate to other interests, and I wanted to get more involved in my new community.

I was introduced to Broxtowe Women’s Project as I flipped through a local newsletter that came in the mail. It was a call for volunteers and I wanted to be one of those volunteers.

When I think of domestic abuse I think, why is this still a thing? The fact is, domestic abuse is very real. It is estimated that 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (Crime Survey of England and Wales, 2013/14).

I see Broxtowe Women’s Project as a place where I can lend my support and my voice for women and children who experience domestic abuse. I hope that I can be an advocate, and help raise awareness about available services.

Domestic abuse does not have a type and is not isolated to a few people, it is common and can affect people regardless of age, race, social class, disability or lifestyle. There is generally a lack of understanding around domestic abuse and it is a gendered crime that happens disproportionately to women. Police in England and Wales receive on average an emergency call related to domestic abuse every 30 seconds (https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/improving-the-police-response-to-domestic-abuse.pdf). While statistics are valuable, it is important to understand that they cannot capture the full picture. Women are often afraid or unable to report or disclose domestic abuse and it remains a largely hidden crime, concealed behind closed doors.

My values align closely with Broxtowe Women’s Project, and I want to be one of their advocates as they pursue their vision of empowering women and their families who are affected by domestic abuse to feel safe, to take control of their lives and to lead safer lives.

With the massive onset of information we are bombarded with every day it can be difficult to broadcast beyond the white noise. Accurate and factual information is powerful, and it is a key goal of Broxtowe Women’s Project to increase awareness and understanding about domestic abuse so individuals experiencing abuse know where and how to seek help. They also seek to build confidence and strength in individuals through education and counselling services, so individuals can choose for themselves and start to abandon feelings of degradation.

Domestic abuse services are needed, and Broxtowe Women’s Project is there to help. I’m glad I can be part of a dedicated team who are passionate about helping others.