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Case Study

Shorifa Khatun

Sunderland, UK

BSc (Hons) Sociology


Shorifa Khatun's placement at Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) based at Gentoo, helped her shape her social research skills and gain a better understanding of which platforms are effective to carry out research. Shorifa's future career aim is to be a social worker and having an experience like this has benefitted her a lot. 

The Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance’s (DAHA) mission is to improve the housing sectors' response to domestic abuse through the introduction and adoption of an established set of standards and an accreditation process. DAHA is a partnership between three agencies who are leaders in innovation, to address domestic violence within housing: Standing Together Against Violence, Peabody and Gentoo.

I was kindly welcomed by Kelly Henderson, my placement officer, who introduced me to different people at Gentoo to help build my network. I took a lot of interest on my first day at Gentoo and made a Twitter account to follow the recent events and gain insight into the different organisations that I would be conducting my research on.

I was invited by Gentoo to an International Women's Day event (Wish North East) where I was introduced to many housing association organisations and learnt many things, such as the different ways housing associations are tackling domestic violence. I had opportunities to shadow different people at Gentoo to gain insight into their role. I was also invited to attend a Northumbria Police workshop with Forensic Psychology masters students to understand the multiagency working and the role of UK Housing in response to domestic abuse perpetrators.

I also took part in a two-day domestic abuse training session with Women's Aid and Wearside Win, which helped me gain my certificate, mentioning that I completed the Change That Lasts Community Ambassador Training.

The best aspect of the placement was undoubtedly meeting my placement officer. She has provided me with a valuable network that I will be able to take advantage of in the future. She has also helped me with my questionnaire and gain so much knowledge and skills around domestic violence in relation to housing which I didn't have before. Everyone at Gentoo was extremely kind and welcoming and I had many opportunities come my way.

I would highly recommend a placement or internship to other students as I feel like it gives you a chance to shine at university. Choosing the correct placement is important as it will benefit you in the future and I really fought for my place at Gentoo. Although you may feel like the pressure is added due to expectations, there is nothing to worry about because you're gaining experience along the way. Go into it with an open mind and positivity."

Kelly Henderson – Business Manager and DAHA Cofounder:

"I can honestly say that our experience of welcoming a University of Sunderland student has been wonderful! Shorifa Khatun came to Gentoo, and her passion and commitment to making a difference to people's lives really shined through. Her professionalism and work ethic has made her a real asset to Gentoo and I know we will keep in touch after the placement.

Welcoming students to local organisations to undertake real research to improve society is crucial. I would wholeheartedly recommend others get involved! As an ex University of Sunderland student myself who undertook a placement with a local organisation, I know how valuable they are. My placement influenced my career choice over 27 years ago and I wholeheartedly thank the University for the opportunity. I am still in touch with my placement mentor and the organisation today! I am very proud to have the opportunity to work with Shorifa who is a fantastic ambassador for our city and the University."

Please note, this course is not recruiting for 2023/24.

Published 9 August 2019

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