Zubeda Ravat-Jones


Your Journey

My journey began nearly 35 years ago when I became a survivor like the victims I now support daily. I was a single parent with two very young boys for whom I knew I had to strive for, be a positive role model, and a positive influence.

The drive to break social and cultural norms and barriers within the Asian community and support and empower others like me kept me moving forward. I realised very quickly for women like me there was limited if any support at all. I decided to work towards being that support system for the many women who I would across through my chosen area of work.

I knew supporting victims of domestic abuse was my life calling and where I needed to be, I started out as a link worker at our local hospital supporting women through their maternity care, where, sadly many women disclosed domestic abuse from family members. Alongside my day job I also worked as an interpreter for the immigration department at Birmingham Airport and the prison service.

For the last 17 years, I focused on working with victims of domestic abuse initially with the Walsall Domestic Violence Forum and for the last 5 years with Black Country Women’s Aid. I returned to study and gained the relevant qualifications to become a qualified Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) and for a while worked at the SARC (Sexual abuse referral Centre) where I would support and assist with medical examinations and store evidence for rape and sexual assault victims.

Accomplishments that make you exceptionally proud 

My biggest achievement to date has been raising my children as a single parent until I remarried and then supporting them with their careers. My eldest followed in the footsteps of his stepfather and joined the Police Force and my youngest is an assistant manager with an accountancy firm. To date, they are my biggest achievement and then it will be my grandchildren as they step into society. My children have both shared my difficult journey with me and they implement their life experiences in their personal and work lives by supporting others.

I take comfort in knowing that I have supported and helped many survivors break away from their abusive relationships and support them in living their lives fully without abuse and violence, I would say this is an achievement and my purpose.

What inspires and motivates you?

I draw my inspiration from every single survivor I have ever helped. I listen to their stories and their journeys and let them know that there is hope and there is a way out. When I see their strength and determination and the journey they have taken since leaving their abusive partners it makes me proud and appreciative that I have made a small difference in someone’s life.

I hope to continue inspiring those who might find themselves in similar situations and believe there is no hope and no way out, there is always a way out, even when the odds are stacked against you and the walls seem very high. I’ve been there, scared and not knowing where to turn to for help, it is not a nice feeling.

The obstacles you have faced to get to where you are today 

When entering the profession, it was very rare for an Asian lady to divorce, I faced immense pressure and stigma and I had to challenge and break social and cultural norms. This resulted in many obstacles but only spurred me on to advocate and support victims of abuse.

What would you say to your younger self with the benefit of hindsight?

I would say “love and respect yourself” and “be kinder to yourself” because when you come out at the other side you realise how much unnecessary pressure and blame you put on yourself unknowingly.

A quote or saying that you live by

Someone once asked me how I carry on with the work I do, I reply, it’s because I am a survivor not a victim and the journey is much easier when you are not carrying your past – this is not just a quote but a moto for me.

Translate »