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 

January opening hours:

Wednesday 2nd January 10-12 and 1-3pm

Thursday 3rd January 10-12

Friday 4th January 10-12 – closed. Open 1-3pm

Week beginning 7th December normal opening hours as well as Thursday 10th January.

Week beginning 14th December – normal opening hours – Thursday closed again.

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. We offer Helpline and Counselling to Men and Boys aged 13 years and above and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) support to children, their families and adult survivors through the Criminal Justice System.

 

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.    We are able to offer women-only space within our Centre - you will be able to discuss this with us at your initial pre counselling visit.

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

 

 

 

SRASAC Groups

SRASAC offers a number of different group opportunities for all. 

The groups are open to anyone aged 18 years and above who has had an initial face to face assessment with our service or who have accessed the service in the past.

All of our groups provide a safe space where clients can build their confidence by supporting each other and getting help from the SRASAC team. The groups aim to encourage and empower group members to participate in any way that feels comfortable, to share as much or as little as you wish and also to contribute to what topics and activities you would like to see included in the groups. 

The groups are facilitated by two members of SRASAC’s counselling team and can be accessed at different points of your contact with the service.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of our groups please contact Lesley on 0114 241 2766 or email lesley@srasac.org.uk

Here is a list of groups that we are running in 2019:

Single Sex Drop-in Sessions:

These stand-alone group sessions offer a safe space for individual’s to build confidence in a small group, by supporting and connecting with other people, supported by counsellors.  Themes/topics include ‘Self Care’, ‘Safe Anger Release’, ‘Being Assertive’ and ‘Support for family and friends’. 

Womens’ Wellbeing Group:

This is an eight-week (pre-counselling) group for female survivors, focused on understanding trauma responses in a group environment. To understand that our individual responses are instincts that ‘help us’, even though they may feel unpredictable, upsetting or even frightening.  To develop a ‘survival kit’ of resources, both inner and outer, emotional and practical, empowering individual’s to discover strategies to begin to overcome their difficulties.

The aim of this Wellbeing group is to support women through the first stage of trauma recovery, and to facilitate their capacity to engage in the next stage of recovery in one to one counselling work at a pace suited to the individual.

Womens’ Post Therapy Group:

This is an eight week group for women who have completed their counselling and wish for the opportunity to connect with other women.  A chance to reduce any sense of isolation, normalise the impacts of sexual violence and learn more about what the challenges and triumphs of being in a group are for you.

Men’s Post Therpay Group:

As above, this is an eight week group for male survivors who would benefit from an opportunity to connect with other men in a supportive environment around common themes set by the group. Reducing any sense of isolation, normalising the impacts of sexual violence.

Parents and Supporters of Child Survivors:

This group offers valuable support and information for the parents and supporters of child victims of sexual violence or abuse. It allows group members an opportunity to identify and talk about their feelings and concerns in a shared safe space.  It gives a chance to build confidence in supporting each other, sharing the impact this experience has had on group members and their families, helping to reduce the sense of isolation and despair parents and supporters often feel.  

Service User Feedback Groups

One off feedback sessions for clients who are exiting the service, allowing a valuable opportunity to give SRASAC feedback on the services we offer and a chance to tell us what other services you might benefit from. In addition, these sessions provide a forum for our clients to experience the challenges and surprises of ‘being in a group’, supported by experienced SRASAC staff. 

Singing Group:

This fun, enjoyable group is for anyone accessing our service and allows us to come together for the pure joy and connection of singing. There is no pressure to ‘get it right’ and all levels of experience are welcome. The group is led by a member of the Natural Voice Movement https://naturalvoice.net a group of people who work with voice and song and who believe that singing is everyone's birth right, regardless of musical experience or ability.

The singing group runs on Monday evenings at SRASAC for eight sessions each term from 5.30pm – 6.30pm.

Many of our clients say that they find the thought of coming into a group to be very challenging, but most say the benefits of a group far outweigh their initial fear! 

 All of our groups offer a space where you are invited to be yourself, in the company of others, where you can participate in any way that feels comfortable for you.  You will not be asked to say or do anything that is not okay for you and we love it when people put themselves in charge of themselves!

 For more detailed information about our groups, including dates and times, please contact Lesley on 0114 241 2766 or by email lesley@srasac.org.uk , or ask your counsellor when the next group is starting and be warmly invited to ask for more information if you would like it.