08 May Jeff Wood – helping people journey from victim to victor
Our Auckland East Support Worker Jeff has been nominated for a Westfield Local Heroes award. Here he talks about what he feels are the key aspects of his Support Worker role.
This work involves responding to rostered call outs after hours, supporting people of all ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, who have suddenly found themselves to be a victim of trauma.
Sadly, these people did not choose to be victims, but find themselves and often with family and friends thrust into a foreign situation. In many cases, this is a crisis situation requiring me to use crisis management skills to help whānau and communities come together to support those in need.
The positive impact of our work is that it allows people who have experienced loss or trauma to manage their response and their healing at their own pace and in their own way. Everyone is different and the effects of trauma are not always evident, nor are they the same for everyone.
Following a trauma, a victim’s thought processes can become scrambled and what may have been logical and structured before the “event” now becomes confused and illogical. This can create fear for people as they are experiencing feelings that they have not experienced before.
Being there for a victim can be as simple as being a voice on the end of the phone to attending a crisis situation alongside Police – the dreaded ‘knock on the door’ – as often victims can display a wide range of responses to grief and loss.
Victim Support uses the holistic Te Whare Tapa Whā model to identify needs in the areas of Te Taha Hinengaro (psychological), Te Taha Wairua (spiritual), Te Taha Tinana (physical) and Te Taha Whānau (family).
Identifying these needs is about coaching – the answers are within the people we support themselves – my role is getting the actions out of them and into a formulated plan.
To get a plan requires empathy, understanding and clear-headed thinking. Working together to identify needs provides a positive impact for people as it is the first step in them regaining control of their lives. This is the first step on the road from victim to victor.
My work as a Victim Support volunteer is all about building trust – to help people on their journey from victim to victor.