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What should you Expect?

If you are looking for support you are welcome to contact us either by telephone, email or asking for support from a friend, relative or support worker to contact us, referrals are taken on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

When taking a referral call we will ask for the following information to help with statistical information: -

Your name, (preferred name) address, tel no, email address, who you were referred/recommended by.

Your date of birth. Gender ie: male, female, transsexual or transgender. Ethnicity, relationship status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, dependents, and employment status.

We ask you about your health, whether you have used drugs or alcohol to help you cope, whether you have self harmed or considered/attempted suicide and if you have been subjected to domestic violence in your life. We ask you if you have any difficulties with your physical, mental or learning abilities.

We also ask who was responsible for what happened to you.

We appreciate that some of the questions could be quite difficult to answer and so you may not wish to answer them which is understood and respected.

Once contact is made we will arrange a mutually agreeable time and date for you to be seen for a one off appointment usually within 2 weeks. This assessment appointment will last between an hour to an hour and a half and is a chance to find out more about our services and what to expect. You are welcome to bring someone with you for support. Where possible we would encourage you to be alone for your meeting as your counselling sessions will be one to one.

After your assessment you may find that you experience a mixture of different feelings which may or may not make sense to you.

It is quite normal to experience feelings such as: -

  • Relief
  • Panic or shock that you've told someone
  • Anger towards the abuser(s), any non abusing family members, yourself or the professional you told about the abuse.
  • Disgust
  • Fear of the unknown (now that I've told someone, what's going to happen, will I get any support?)

Often there appears to be an internal battle where part of you wants and needs help and yet another part is unable to trust anyone.

Many survivors of abuse have been forced into silence and may still hold the belief that bad things will happen if they tell.

Telling someone that you were abused is often an extremely difficult and emotional thing to do. Not surprisingly, you may find that thoughts and feelings about the abuse get stronger and more frequent after you have told someone. It can also be harder to cope with these feelings in the ways that you may have done for years.

Some ways that may help you to cope with these memories/feelings are:

  • Write down how you feel. Sometimes it may feel like you are full of feelings and memories. Giving yourself a short amount of time, perhaps 5 or 10 minutes at a time, can help to get some of the feelings out in a way that won't overwhelm you. You can keep what you have written down, or rip it up or burn it - whatever feels right for you.
  • If possible, contact a friend or safe family member whom you have found supportive in the past or call the Samaritans or other help lines (see useful numbers on the back)
  • Gentle exercise such as walking
  • If you feel angry, find ways that can help to express your anger, without hurting you or anyone else.
  • If you would like some more suggestions like these, of how you can cope with specific things like anxiety or self harm, we have links to some useful websites.