We support survivors of sexual violence no matter when or how it happened.
An adult does not need to report to the police to get support
Responsibility always sits with the perpetrator
Drug or alcohol consumption does not make a survivor responsible
Sexual violence can happen in any relationship
Someone always has the right to say no or withdraw consent, no matter what
Any woman or girl can be raped, suffer sexual violence or abuse at some point in their lives.
We understand that your life can be totally shattered by a rape, sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse. We are here to provide support, in our women only space, to help reduce the impact of such an experience and to help you re-gain control of your life.
There are many myths held around the causes of rape, sexual violence and childhood abuse, which make it particularly difficult for women to come forward, these may include ideas on how a woman is dressed, whether they are drunk, or that rape is only committed by strangers. Statistics demonstrate that 90% of rapes are committed by somebody the person knows. We believe that the responsibility for all rape, sexual violence or abuse always sits with the perpetrator.
Any man or boy can be raped, or suffer sexual violence or abuse regardless of their age, size or strength.
Within society men may have the belief that they are expected to be strong or be able to defend themselves and, for this reason, may feel shame or blame themselves for the abuse. Regardless of how it occurred, sexual violence is always wrong and the blame always sits with the perpetrator.
Being sexually assaulted, abused or raped does not relate in any way to your sexuality and anyone can be a perpetrator. We also understand that men in same-sex relationships and men having sex with other men may also experience rape and abuse. We are here to listen to, believe and support you and can offer you a male counsellor/support worker if you prefer.
Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is pressurised, forced, tricked or coerced into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with another person.
The person carrying out the abuse may not be a stranger. Often it is someone who is trusted like a boyfriend/girlfriend, family member, family friend, teacher, doctor, group leader or religious leader.
This can include things like:
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. If you think this is happening to you, it is not your fault and you are not alone.
We understand that as you become a young adult, there can be lots of questions about relationships that you may be in.
You may feel pressured into having sex or doing sexual things, you may have been raped or you might be asked to send intimate images of yourself (sexting). You may also be unsure about something that has happened or is happening to you or have questions about a relationship you are in. We are here to listen to you and support you.
We have produced a Sex and Consent booklet for young people aged 13-17, which looks at some of the things you may be worried about, including what a healthy relationship or an unhealthy relationship may look like, myths and facts, sexting and useful contacts.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender +
People who have experienced sexual violence and identify as LGBT+ may have additional fears around accessing support. You may be concerned about:
We know that there is no typical survivor and we understand that, if you identify as LGBT+, you are equally likely to experience sexual violence or abuse. We will never judge you, focus on or ‘out’ your sexuality or trans status and we will always respond to you in your self-defined gender, using your preferred pronoun. Our services are confidential and non-judgmental and we will listen to, believe and support you no matter when or how the abuse happened.
Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee
We understand the complexities of sexual abuse and violence in BAMER communities and the barriers faced by those accessing support. Our staff receive regular training on the additional needs of survivors from BAMER communities. Additionally, all our staff are trained to recognise and respond to incidents of/potential incidents of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)/cutting.
Violence or abuse committed against a person who works in the sex industry is not an ‘occupational hazard.’
We know that people who work in the sex industry/prostitution can experience sexual violence and abuse or rape by people presenting as clients. You might also have experienced rape or sexual violence and abuse in your past or current personal life. We also understand that sex workers can be reluctant to report to the police and so records do not accurately reflect how common this violence and abuse can be.
Any violence or abuse committed against a person who works in the sex industry/prostitution is a crime and is not an ‘occupational hazard.’ If you have ever experienced sexual violence or abuse, you did not deserve it and you are entitled to support. Our service is confidential and non-judgmental and we are here if you ever want to talk.
You might also want to sign up to National Ugly Mugs. National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a national organisation which provides access to justice and protection for sex workers. They operate a free service, where you can anonymously report incidents, which will then be used to warn other people working in the sex industry. You can also receive warnings about reported individuals through this service.
National Ugly Mugs link: https://uknswp.org/um/
We are aware of the additional needs that some survivors may have, including physical disabilities, learning disabilities or problems with mental health. We understand that sometimes the person carrying out the abuse may be a carer who is relied upon for support.
If you have experienced any kind of sexual violence or abuse, or are worried about a situation you are in, it is not your fault and will listen to you and support you. Our service is wheelchair accessible and we can provide information in large print and can access BSL interpreters if required. We will always treat you as an individual and will adapt our services to accommodate your needs wherever possible.