It's hard to quantify success when talking about RASASC’s work, especially in a world that relies on numbers and statistics to back everything up. Official figures for sexually abused people range from 1 in 4 to 1 in 7 of the population. Whatever the correct number, it is still too high and the demand for our services grows every year.
All we can say for certain is that we have witnessed positive changes in clients and we feel the acceptance we offer helps them to start the very long process of starting to accept themselves. It takes courage to talk, but it's vital for survivors of sexual abuse to be able to confide in someone, whether it's to a helpline volunteer or one of our counsellors.
Some survivors recall constantly but find it hard to speak about having been sexually abused. Other survivors push the traumatic event from their mind and forget for quite some time. When they suddenly do remember, it’s the most enormous shock. Either way, survivors can experience breakdowns, depression, low self-esteem, relationship problems, self-harming, eating disorders, drug abuse and alcoholism. We offer a place to be heard, and we should never underestimate the healing experience we can provide.
RECENT CLIENT AND STAFF ENDORSEMENTS
Mr M said to us: “Telling someone was the most difficult thing I have ever done but the most beneficial thing I have ever done.”
Miss D: “I could never have fallen in love if I hadn’t been coming here for counselling.”
Mrs X: “I am now able to accept a kiss from my husband when he comes home from work, without recoiling.”
Mrs X: “I’ve been dead for 30 years and now I’ve come alive again.”
Mr X: “You have brought the sunshine back into my life.” From a client who has changed the direction of his life by making new choices and started a college course he had been dreaming about doing for years.
RASASC Counsellor: “I never cease to be amazed and delighted by the courage and determination of our clients. They arrive at our sessions often so scared and vulnerable and very unsure at what might happen. Their constant struggle with trying to be positive when the world around them seems so lonely and uncomfortable.”
RASASC Counsellor: “I have had several clients, each very different, but similar in the fear, pain and loss they carry from the effects of sexual abuse. I am humbled by their courage and endurance. It is a privilege to be allowed into their world and accompany them on their journey.”
RASASC Counsellor: “A client who after years of thinking she wouldn’t achieve anything has successfully embarked on an A level course and is finding for the first time in her life she CAN do something well and more importantly, for herself.”
RASASC Counsellor: “Since joining RASASC, I’ve discovered just how valuable a service such as ours can be. My experiences on the helpline led me to want to continue with my counselling studies and now I’m really proud to be associated with the face-to-face counselling service RASASC offers.”
RASASC Counsellor: “A strong memory for me, was of an incredibly courageous woman who had suffered long term social anxiety which prevented her from working or living her life as she wished to. We worked with the shattered trust and low self esteem caused by early abuse and she said the patience, compassion and understanding she found at RASASC helped her to rebuild her trust in people. The social anxiety diminished gradually as faith in herself and trust in others increased, and she now has new interests in her life and has begun working part time.”
RASASC Counsellor: “One of the themes among my clients this year is how difficult it is for them to relive their abuse. It is a painful experience and takes them back to all those original painful feelings. It’s like putting your hand back into the flame that has already burnt you. Although it can be so difficult for our clients to do so with courage and bravery, as abuse is surrounded by secrecy, to eventually feel they can speak out is a freeing experience and lessens the fear and the power their original abusers had over them. This can be the start on the road to recover. RASASC offers the time, space and safety for clients to be able to tell their truth.”
If you are survivor and you would like to encourage others to recover by sharing your story, your journey, your thoughts and feelings. Or if you would be happy to speak to the media on our behalf.
Then please do get in touch with Rebecca, Communications and Funding Manager - she will be very pleased to hear from you. Confidentialty respected.