A lady surrounded by bags of food

Cynthia – supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse

Cynthia is a volunteer at Survivors’ Network – an organisation that supports survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Sussex.

Cynthia’s ‘day job’ at The Consent Collective is centred around sexual harassment and domestic violence, so joining the Survivors’ Network volunteer team seemed a ‘natural extension’.

“I wanted to use my skills to add value, to learn and understand more and ultimately, I really care about these topics and how it affects people and our society in general.”

Cynthia helps facilitate drop-in sessions, a safe and welcoming space where women with experience of sexual abuse and violence can go for conversation and support. She also takes calls on the Survivors’ Network helpline, which is an essential lifeline in the current Covid-19 circumstances. It’s a role she enjoys every aspect of.

“It’s being part of and getting to know an organisation such as Survivors’ Network and seeing the amazing work that happens. It’s meeting women who are willing to go to the hard places on this journey towards healing. It’s being part of the community that says we care.

A big part of my volunteer experience is rooted in the group of women I did the volunteer training with. I was really struck by the experience of training with such amazing women, all with a deep desire for change when it comes to sexual violence in our society. All from such different walks of life but united in the effort to be part of the change that is needed and stepping forward to add their skills in doing so. We are really all in it together, equally: one big group of women standing together on this.

Volunteering is an act of participation in our society and looking at the issues up close. It’s a story of community. I think that a great dollop of self-awareness and growth comes hand in hand with volunteering. If you’re considering volunteering, go into it with an open mind and make self-care a big part of the process too.”

“A great dollop of self-awareness and growth comes hand in hand with volunteering.”

“A great dollop of self-awareness and growth comes hand in hand with volunteering.”

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