I’ve seen it a few times now. That look I get when I tell people that I want to work with victims of sexual violence. It’s a sort of quizzical grimace, and it’s hard to hide no matter how fleeting. To some extent I understand it. After all, why on earth would I want to leave behind a well paid job sector, for one that despite being necessary, isn’t? Why would I put myself through the agony of helping others at what will quite probably be the lowest time in their lives? Why would I want to remind myself that evil things happen, to women, children and men, and that they happen on our doorsteps?
Because I no longer have a choice. For years, I secretly harboured this desire to help those who’ve been subjected to sexual violence in all its guises. When I met my husband, I told him, but kept it quiet from friends and family. That passion however, has now become so strong that I have to give in to it, and I no longer keep quiet about my aspirations. Training as an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Adviser), has stoked the fire, and whilst I’ve no idea where this journey will end, I know that I’m so determined, that I will find work in the field, and work that’s right for the skills and qualities that I have to offer. It’s unlikely to be well paid; I will have to deal with other people’s sorrow, anger and pain; and I will time and again realise that I’m not as worldly wise as I thought I was; but I will be making a difference. And for me, that’s what it boils down to. I’ve never been materialistic, I don’t hanker after designer goods, and I have a pathological fear of luxury hotels. I just want to help, even if it’s one person.