We're here to help

We offer confidential helpline support as well as counselling and advice on giving support to others who have been raped or sexually abused.  We also offer practical help and emotional support from our Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).

If you're not quite ready to talk

Our resources section has useful information for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. 

Everything has changed, I now feel confident about myself and look forward to the future. I feel pride in my recovery.
— Former counselling client

Calls are confidential

You do not have to give us any details to get support and we will not ask you to. You are in control of what you tell us.

The helpline volunteer I spoke to on a couple of occasions was very reassuring, spoke to me with patience and understanding and helped to calm my nerves.
— Helpline caller

Helpline for All Survivors

The Helpline offers emotional support to all survivors of rape or sexual abuse, no matter when or how it happened.  We also provide support to anyone affected by sexual violence that has happened to others eg. parents, carers , professionals and partners.  We do not discriminate against age, race, religion, disability, gender or sexuality.  We are happy to accept calls from anywhere, but we are unable to offer Counselling or ISVA support to survivors living outside of Sheffield.

If you  need an interpreter to be able to use the Helpline service, we can arrange this, as long as you give us notice.  

Opening times

Monday 1pm - 3pm

Tuesday 6pm - 8pm

Wednesday 10am - 12 noon  and 1pm - 3pm

Friday 10am - 12 noon and 1pm - 3pm 

The helpline is staffed by our fully trained volunteers. Outside these times you can leave a message on the 24 hour answer phone and a member of our helpline team will return your call as soon as possible (usually during helpline opening times).

We regret that our text and email support is currently unavailable. We are working to get this service up and running again as soon as possible. Further details will be posted on this website shortly.

If you change your mind

If you change your mind after you have called us and don’t want to carry on talking that’s fine; you can end the call at any time.  You can call back at any time the Helpline is open, even if you didn’t speak the first time you called. Sometimes it takes a few calls before you’re ready to talk. You can call us for support as many times as you need to.

Support for Men and Boys

Men and boys can also experience rape or sexual abuse at any time in their lives. From 1st April 2016 we are able to offer Helpline and Counselling to Men and Boys aged 13 years and above and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) support to Men aged 18 years and above.

 

I feel like I have made a lot of progress. I think I can have the courage to prioritise my feelings over the expectations of others, and respect and look after myself. I feel so much better about everything.”
— Former counselling client

If you would like counselling

If you would like to receive counselling from us, you can fill in the form below (purple Counselling Request Form button), or call the helpline (0808 802 0013) to arrange this.   After you have sent us the form or called our Helpline we will either post out a registration form for you to fill out and send back to us or we will send you an email with a link and password for you to access our on-line registration form for you to complete and submit.    As soon as we get a completed registration form back from you we will start arranging your counselling.  You will be asked to come in for a face to face pre-counselling visit with one of our Counsellors.  This meeting usually lasts for about one and a half hours.   

Counselling is a safe space in which to explore your experiences and feelings, in your own time and way.  At your pre-counselling visit it will be agreed how many sessions you will be offered, based on your needs.  We offer up to 20 sessions.  Please be aware there will be a further wait before we are able to offer you a start date for your one to one counselling sessions.

I was listened to, taken seriously, allowed to see that what happened was not my fault, and I had nothing to be ashamed about.
— Former counselling client

How Counselling works

Counselling is a chance to be heard, and to talk about what has happened to you. Your counsellor will listen to you. You will be supported if you would like to make changes in your life. You will not be told what to do; your counsellor will help you to decide for yourself.

All our counsellors are professionally trained and members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). You will see the same counsellor at the same time each week.  The time will be agreed with you before you start your sessions.  

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How we can help you to help others

We offer support to friends, partners and relatives or others involved in supporting  survivors who are welcome to ring our helpline 0808 802 0013 for support.

If you are supporting someone who has been raped or abused, you may well need support yourself. We recognise how important the support of partners, friends, relatives and carers can be for a survivor, to help them feel back in control of their lives.

Supporting someone who has been abused

When someone has been raped or sexually abused they may feel scared, distressed, humiliated, angry, powerless, confused, numb and guilty. These feelings may vary greatly from day to day or month to month.

What you can do

 Survivors of abuse have individual responses to being abused and what helps one person may not be useful for another. However, it is clear that there are some things that are important to the majority of survivors. What always seems to help is having someone around who will listen and not rush them to ‘get better’ or ‘forget about it’; someone who will try to understand how they are feeling and what they want in the way of support.

What is always essential is for a survivor to feel that they are believed. Whatever the circumstances of the abuse, there is always one dominant feature - that it was something forced on them, against their will and that it deliberately took control from them, ignoring what they wanted.

The use of force, whether physical or not, is always a violent act, causing distress and humiliation. To help a survivor regain control over their life and begin to rebuild their sense of worth, it is crucial to recognise how upsetting and frightening it is to be forced against your will in this way.

It is everyone’s basic human right to be free from threat, harassment or attack.

When a person has been raped or sexually abused they may lose their feelings of safety and trust. With your help they need to rebuild those feelings of control, trust and self-worth.

For ideas on how you can support a survivor to feel that they are back in control of their life, after their experience of rape or sexual abuse, please click on the purple button below.

More information can also be found on our Resources Page.

Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA )

Our Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA ) offers a free and confidential specialist service providing  practical help and emotional support to anyone 18 years and over who has been raped or sexually assaulted at any time in their lives,  whether or not they have chosen to report to the police.

If this has happened to you, you might be struggling to cope.  Maybe it feels like no-one understands what you have experienced & how you feel. Maybe you don't want to talk to someone about it, but you know that you need to.  We understand how difficult it is to talk about the abuse that you have suffered.

The ISVA  can help you to work out what you need to help you move forward from the sexual assault and she will try and help you get the things you need to do that. The ISVA service is about helping you to make informed choices, not about telling you what to do.

The ISVA can :

  • Give you emotional support
  • Help you develop ways of coping and
  • Help you to put together a support network (a group of people or organisations that can give you help and support)
  • Helping you to understand what choices you have about reporting your incident to the Police
  • Help you get other specialist support, e.g. counselling, mental health, sexual health, substance and alcohol misuse
  • Help you communicate with the Police
  • Give you information and support around the Criminal Justice System (CJS)
  • Support you through the court process (be there with you ate court etc.)
Just wanted to say thanks for calling round and for working with me... I feel like I can get through it more now than I did before. It’s nice to know someone’s there for me, if and when it goes to court.

-Text message from ISVA client

How you can get the ISVA service:

You can ask for a referral to the service  from the Police, NHS or any other agency.

Or, you can self-refer by calling the  Helpline on 0808 802 0013 or by using a secure form at:

https://isva-referral.drasacs.org.uk