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‘You see violence that young and you get desensitised’

Speaking with Ignatius* is like speaking with any other young man.

Ignatius looks forward to moving in with his fiancé

He works as an apprentice tiler, is studying to become a personal trainer and is passionate about fitness including boxing and cycling.

“In my spare time I play chess, hang out with my family, hang out with my partner, you know, it brings joy to my life,” he says.

Ignatius has turned his life around after involvement with the youth justice system as a teenager, which led to him spending time in detention.

He says negative influences in school, and exposure to violence, led to him getting into trouble.

“I saw a lot of fights, there’s a lot of blood, people getting knocked out… you see [violence] that young and you kind of get desensitised to that stuff.”

The support of Ignatius’ fiancé and family steered him towards a positive path when he left detention. Jesuit Social Services’ Youth Justice Community Support Service program, which helps prevent re-offending among young people by reconnecting them with the community, helped him find accomodation.

In the next few months, Ignatius is planning on moving in with his fiancé.

“We’re already looking for places, that’s what’s kinda ahead.”

Having moved on from his involvement with the justice system, Ignatius says he has a new-found appreciation for the little things in life.

“I haven’t completely made up for it but I really appreciate time now and the things I do.”

Ignatius shares his story in a video for our #WorthASecondChance campaign which you can view here.

*not his real name