Frequently Asked Questions

Counselling is not a magic wand and cannot make all the pain and memories disappear but it can help you to find a way to make sense of what has happened to you and explore the ways in which you may feel differently about yourself and your relationships.

Counselling can give you some time, space and peace where you can think, reflect and talk things through.  Our hope is that we can help you on your way to regain a sense of control over your own life.

All of our volunteer counsellors have received and continue to receive specialist training and are all female.

We work with women over the age of 18 who have been raped or sexually abused at any point in their lives.

You will need to call our helpline on 01707 276512.  If you call between 7.30pm – 9.30pm on a Thursday evening you will be able to speak to a volunteer counsellor in person.  If you call at any other time you can leave a message and we will call you back.

If you ask to be placed on our waiting list, we will need to conduct a brief assessment of your needs to ensure that we are the right service to support you.  Please see further details on accessing our service.

Our waiting list can vary but generally the waiting time is many months.  Because we do not limit the number of sessions a woman can have with us it can be difficult to say exactly how long but we can talk to you about this when you call.  All women who are waiting for counselling are welcome to call our helpline at any time if they want to talk something through with a volunteer counsellor or would like an update on their waiting time.

You don’t have to talk about anything that you are not ready to talk about and you don’t need to go into detail about unpleasant events unless you want to.  Your counsellors will not judge you or tell you what to do, they will help you to find the words you need and understand how difficult it can be to identify and express your feelings.

We try to be flexible when arranging your appointments and match our counsellors with your availability.  We offer daytime appointments between Monday and Friday and evening appointments between Monday and Thursday.  We do not offer appointments at the weekend.

It is impossible to say how many sessions you will need.  Some women need very few sessions to address their issues and others can work with us for a much longer period.  Each session is 1 hour and they take place fortnightly.

We do not make a charge for our services.  If at the end of your counselling you would like to make a donation to our funds you can do so via this website or by cash or cheque to your counsellors.  We will not ask you for a donation and we do not expect one.

If it is impossible for you to get to our centre, we try to offer an outreach service and either visit you in your home or find another place local to you that is suitable. We prefer for clients to come to our centre as counselling at home can be difficult for the client after we have left.

If you are unhappy with your progress or you are finding some aspect of your counselling sessions unhelpful please talk to your counsellors.  We always try to work flexibly in a way that suits each individual client.

After getting to know each other better, if we mutually feel that we are not the right service to support you, we will make every effort to signpost you to another service which will be more suitable.

The helpline is available to all existing and potential clients and any family or friends who are supporting them.  You can call between 7.30pm – 9.30pm on a Thursday evening when the line will be answered in person or you can leave a message at any other time.  Helpline: 01707 276512

If you re-refer yourself you will go through the same assessment process as any new client and will re-join the waiting list and we will not be able to guarantee that you see the same counsellors as before.  You may find it helpful to call the helpline and speak to your previous counsellors or whoever is on call to discuss whether re-referring yourself is the best option for you.

We do not accept referrals from other agencies.  We only accept self-referrals as we believe that the first and biggest step on the recovery journey is for each woman to contact our service herself.

We do not keep records of what you tell us.  We only keep your contact details, ( in line with GDPR Regulations) the dates of your appointments and other anonymous information for statistical and diversity tracking purposes.  If we were required by the police or courts to disclose any information, we would discuss this with you first.

Donations

We are constantly seeking funding and appreciate donations of any size.

Volunteer

Volunteers are the heart of what we do. We need volunteer counsellors, fundraisers, people with marketing skills as well as people who just want to help.

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