Jo Sharpen is a qualified youth worker with person centred counselling training, a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a MA in Women and Child Abuse. She also holds a certificate and diploma in online counselling.
She has worked for AVA – Against Violence and Abuse (www.avaproject.org.uk) for 10 years, managing the children and young people’s project and then as policy manager. Prior to this she worked for the Institute of Psychiatry as a researcher and then at Eaves Women’s Aid for several years, in a refuge. As well as working for AVA she is also a freelance consultant, researcher and online counsellor. Her specialist interests include supporting children and young people affected by various forms of domestic and sexual abuse and also supporting frontline practitioners with vicarious trauma and stress.
She wrote the national toolkit on children and domestic violence ‘Improving Safety, Reducing Harm’ for practitioners which was published by the Department of Health and co-authored the national guidance for the Home Office on child to parent abuse.
She has also written numerous policy briefings, guidance and training packages on violence against women and girls and moderated the Home Office ‘this is abuse’ campaign, supporting over 3000 young people online.