Why I love spending time with social work students

The final word in our #SussexWSWD14 blog series comes from Danielle Kerris. Danielle is an Associate Tutor and member of the Service Users and Carers Network at Sussex. Below Danielle tell us why she enjoys contributing to social work education. 

I love spending time with social work students. They are so engaged and supportive and empathetic. I did a law degree and didn’t like it at all, the atmosphere was much more cut throat.

I occasionally do presentations at Sussex, talking about my experiences of abuse. I used to worry about what exactly the students would take from these sessions but now I don’t. I realise that each individual will take away something different. There is so much silence and shame around sexual abuse. I see my role as not to be silent, not to be ashamed, or to feel ashamed and speak up anyway.

For myself, taking part in these sessions has been good for me in a number of ways. It has helped with my confidence. It has become part of the way I process and integrate my abuse experiences. And perhaps most importantly, there is something very heartening about being in a room with 25 social workers all straining to understand, asking me questions about what might have helped, what might have made a difference.

There is something healing about being surrounded by smart, motivated people all wishing to change things for me, even if they are 25 years too late.

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March 20, 2014. World Social Work Day.

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