By Marcia Pearson
For Chelsea Jobes, three years study at York St John gave her a taste of what it would be like to work in a helping and practical profession with a “therapeutic edge”.
She believes it also equipped her with invaluable experience working with different people from a wide range of diverse backgrounds.
Having graduated in 2019 with a BA Hons in Coaching, Counselling and Mentoring, she now works for Yorkshire’s largest specialist charity supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse or sexual violence.
Her time at the non-profit organisation Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) in Sheffield has coincided with increased public concern about the impact of domestic violence following the introduction of the first lockdown last year.
In her role as an independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA), Chelsea seeks to empower victims and survivors and to support them with the decisions they make as they seek to move on in their lives.
She also helps the individual to process the trauma they have experienced. This includes helping them navigate the often confusing waters of the criminal justice system and providing additional support.
Chelsea admits that she will “never truly be an expert in this field” as each case that she deals with brings something new to her experience and means that working in this challenging field is a continuous learning process.
“I help to advocate for victims, support them to build themselves up onto the next step after leaving their abusive relationship,” she explains. From this role Chelsea has learnt a greater understanding of multi-agency work and how it can ultimately save lives.
She also believes that society is slowly developing more awareness of the issue of domestic violence, adding: “Ultimately, I have learnt you never truly know what goes on behind closed doors and you should never judge a book by its cover.”
IDAS began as York Women’s Aid in 1977 as one of the first refuge providers in the UK. Today staff deliver community-based services across in North Yorkshire as well as Sheffield and Barnsley.
It’s about realising that not everyone has equal opportunities, and everyone is diverse, but because of this they can bring something different to the table which someone else may lack.
York St John immediately appealed to Chelsea and she felt comfortable learning within the university’s supportive and inclusive environment.
Now when asked what social justice means to her, Chelsea responds: “Social justice for me is making sure everyone has equal opportunities regardless of what background they have.”
She adds: “I really think it’s about realising that not everyone has equal opportunities, and everyone is diverse, but because of this they can bring something different to the table which someone else may lack.”