PAH Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit (BIRU) Social Worker Amy Seymour-Jones is on a mission to change the lives of women experiencing intimate partner violence in Brisbane.
For the last two years, Ms Seymour-Jones has volunteered at Zig Zag, a community-based not-for-profit organisation that provides sexual assault counselling and housing for young women aged 12-25.
“As a social worker, I know domestic violence is a problem we desperately need to address, so for me it was about wanting to support an organisation in our community that I really believe in,” Ms Seymour-Jones said.
“As a young woman, I was also keen to give back to an organisation that supports other young women. Alignment with my personal values is a big part of why I connect with and volunteer at Zig Zag.”
As the chairperson of the management committee of Zig Zag, Ms Seymour-Jones said the organisation contributed to managing the impacts of sexual violence by offering young women the practical and emotional support they need to escape their violent relationships.
“In the 2018-19 financial year we delivered thousands of hours of specialist sexual assault counselling, and hundreds of community education workshops for young men and women to build knowledge around consent, sexual violence, and healthy relationships.
“We also provided 2,929 nights of accommodation as well as intensive housing support, case management, outreach and advocacy with women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in three young people presenting alone to homelessness services have experienced domestic violence.
Amy said she encouraged other staff at PAH to investigate volunteering opportunities in their own communities.
“I think it is a privilege to contribute to the unique knowledge, resources and skills that come together to tackle domestic violence in our local community. Working in solidarity with other women against issues of gender violence and being part of something that is affecting change is meaningful and rewarding to me.
“During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, I want to showcase the wonderful work of Zig Zag and show colleagues there are lots of ways we can each give back to our own communities. This is mine.”