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Q & A with Family Violence Worker Stephanie Metry

15 December 2016

1. What is your current role in Family Violence?

Women’s and Children’s Family Violence crisis care worker

2. How long have you worked in the Family Violence Sector?

2 years

3. What got you into this type of work?

I did my 3rd year social work placement at Centre Against Violence. I learnt about a world I have never experienced before. It made me angry and frustrated, which then empowered me to want a make a difference. I felt it was not fair that women and children should be subjected to violence and that society states ‘why doesn’t she move’, but they’re    not saying ‘why doesn’t he stop being violent’.

4. What training have you undertaken to support the work you do in this sector?

I have completed a Bachelor of Human Services and a Masters of Social Work and since being at CAV I have completed training on:

  • How to work with children who have experienced trauma
  • How to work with PTSD survivors
  • Using Acceptance Commitment Therapy
  • Cumulative Harm Workshop
  • Strengths Based approach training

5. What do you think is the best thing about working in Family Violence?

Seeing the changes in the sector and learning to appreciate the little changes in someone’s life. We always look for the big changes but it’s the little ones that we also need to greatly appreciate, because for that individual a little change could have been the hardest thing to do. It is also knowing that what your doing makes a difference and is assisting someone to live free of violence.

 

6. What is the biggest challenge when working Family Violence?

The systems in place.  As a service we can assist women and children to stay safe, but until certain services such as courts and support services, all start seeing eye to eye there are going to be gaps in the system.

7. How do you see the arts contributing to your Family Violence work?

I believe all of the arts can support women and children to recover from trauma. It’s a way to express one’s self that doesn’t have to be all about talking. For some children they may have delayed speech or the things they have seen are so horrific they may not be able to explain it. But ‘the arts’ give them an opportunity to express themselves.

8. What has been your most rewarding moment working in Family Violence?

It’s the little things. One example would be when a child in refuge gave me a picture they painted. It was a tracing of their hand surrounded by circles. It represented her reaching for the stars and believing in hope since working with me. For me that family had suffered so much trauma and loss and the fact that the little girl could still see hope and strive for her dreams made me feel so inspired.  Through all the darkness there is light and hope that all can hopefully see and feel.

9. If you had $100k to spend on an Arts and Family Violence Project in your organisation, what would you do?

I would love to see art therapy courses for both sexual assault and family violence survivors. For all ages and genders. It’s a different way of expression and brings people together.

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