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You have actually already taken your first steps — you found the RASAC website and looked to see what we do, what we can offer and whether we can help you on your road to recovery from sexual trauma. The short answer is yes we can help — the longer answer is that we are primarily here to help you help yourself, support you along the journey by providing you with one to one or group sessions, and to provide you with the opportunity to discuss your sexual trauma while feeling safe and secure. Working through your sexual trauma is undertaken at your pace and at times that suit you. It will feel like hard work at times and you may want to give up, but you will gain some insight and understanding into your trauma and develop many coping mechanisms for dealing with and eventually overcoming the trauma which is impacting and dominating your daily life.
If you decide, having read all the information on the website including the road to recovery that you would like to seek some help from RASAC then all you need to do is complete an online referral form which can be found on this website. Go to “contact” and complete a self-referral. You can also ask a professional that you may be working with to complete it with or for you. Once we receive the referral form we will contact you using your stated preferred contact method to offer you an appointment which we call an “initial assessment”. Due to COVID-19 these appointments are usually conducted over the telephone or by using virtual online platforms such as Zoom, WhatsAPP or Skype. The choice of how you want to speak with us is up to you. If you are already receiving some counselling from another service such as “I talk” you need to finish with this counselling before you refer to us as we do not offer counselling if you are already having counselling elsewhere.
The online form asks for some details which we need and also use for our quarterly reporting to our funding bodies. These are anonymized statistics and help us see trends in need plan accordingly for the future. We do publish the headlines from these collected statistics on our website news section and they are also available upon request.
The Initial assessment takes around 50 minutes to complete using whichever method you choose and is undertaken by one of our specialist sexual trauma assessors. We have both male and female assessors and you will be asked which gender you want and your choice will always be respected. The assessment is a needs led process but also includes a risk assessment. It is similar to what you might have with another professional to identify the best type of help needed and who is best placed to offer the type of help identified. If we feel you are at high risk or you / we feel you are at crises point we may well suggest you also seek help from other services such as health professionals such as your GP or Mental health services or look at specialist agencies offering helpline services. We are not an emergency service and we do not offer a daily counselling helpline but we can help signpost you to others that do such as the Samaritans, and the male specific support such as the Survivors UK online daily helpline service. Such services are very useful especially while you wait for your counselling to commence (there is always a wait time between the initial assessment and any counselling).
The assessing counsellor will ask some questions and fill in some forms including a pictorial diagram which we call a RADAR chart. This identifies what areas you may be struggling with and wish to address and will form your ongoing support and goal plan. The plan will be jointly agreed, signed and shared with you and you can have a copy of the completed RADAR (click here to see the RADAR form.) It will clearly show your areas of need and also identify areas of risk. The RADAR will mostly likely confirm what you already know, but may also show areas you maybe not fully aware of that you need or want to address through counselling with us.
As part of the initial assessment we will ask you about other support you are receiving or would like to receive while you are waiting for counselling to start. We may suggest some other agencies that may help you, we call this signposting. The counsellor you see for your assessment will give you some information on services we feel might help and we can either contact them for you or you can do this yourself. These services will be part of your ongoing support. Our own male STEPS peer support programme is one example of this but we also work closely with other agencies local and national and have a comprehensive resource directory of contacts depending on your own circumstances. These include Mankind, Survivors UK, The Male Survivors Partnership of which we are members, and other specific services for Gay men who have suffered sexual trauma, and for those who are in the Military.
If you want to proceed with counselling after the assessment but don’t think you are quite ready or it is not right for you at the time you can always come back and talk to us at a later date. If you leave the RASAC road for more than 6 months we will carry out another initial assessment with you as circumstances often change. If you decide you do want to proceed on your journey we will put you on a waiting list for counselling. At this point we will again ask if you want a male or female counsellor and your choice will always be respected and met.
As part of the assessment we will ask you to give us an emergency contact person and also your GP. And ask you to sign a form to say we have your permission to contact these contacts if we feel you are in a crises or at risk and need more support during the counselling process.
After your initial assessment we will send you out a feedback form usually by e-mail to ask you about your initial experience with us. This will help us ensure we are always looking to improve our services and welcome ideas on your first impressions of the service you received.
The length of time you will wait for counselling varies depending on your availability and when we have counselling slots available to meet your request. The more flexible you are the quicker you will be allocated a counsellor. We do offer private counselling and if you opted to become a private client we do not place you on the waiting list but offer you a counsellor within 2 weeks of your assessment.
While on the waiting list we will contact you every month to see how you are and let you know where you are on the list. We will text, e-mail or phone you, whichever you tell us you prefer as a method of ongoing contact. The waiting list is not based on individual need or risk but on when we receive your referral and your flexibility. We do ask that while on the list you contact us with any major changed in your details such as contact details.
Your personal and assessment details are held on a secure database while you are on the waiting list with access limited to the manager and one of the administrator staff.
While on the waiting list you can always call or contact us using our dedicated Male Advice & Information line (01962 864433). If you feel you are in crises you can contact us on our office line (01962 807037) and we may be able to help you through signposting but we are not an emergency service.
Your counselling is free the point of access and we are often asked how we are able to provide such a high quality free service to all age groups. We are funded through various channels including the NHS, the Police Commission and the Local Authority to provide a certain level of service. However, we try to provide all our clients with the level they need and this is not always funded so also need to fund raise and ask those who we help to consider making a charitable donation to us where financial circumstances allow. The donations go into providing more counselling services and directly into provide more counselling sessions. You will be asked if you are able and want to make a donation.
The counselling sessions take place weekly and will last anywhere between 8 and 24 weeks depending on your initial assessment. During COVID-19 contact will mostly be by phone or visual media platform but to can opt to wait for a face to face appointment. The sessions are one to one and we do not offer group, family or couple counselling. You can ask someone to accompany you to the counselling appointments but we do not have physical space for anyone supporting you to wait.
The sessions are confidential and nothing is shared outside the sessions unless we feel you are at crises point or at high and we need to alert and inform other services or contact your emergency contact which we will always do with your permission. If you discuss what we feel is a safeguarding issue (you will find our safeguarding policy on this website) the we may take some safeguarding action without your permission. This is if we feel you or someone you have identified is at immediate risk and there is a clear safeguarding concern.
You can leave the counselling process at any time but if you do we cannot guarantee we can recommence counselling without further assessments or that your counsellor will be the same. If you do not tell us you are not attending your weekly counselling we will contact you and let you know that further non-attendance without prior notice will result in your counselling being suspended and potentially stopped.
Your counsellor will make notes called client notes after your session has ended and these are kept securely for 2 years post the end of your counselling. You can ask to see these notes at any time during the two years they are kept and they will not be shared with anyone without your written permission.
During the counselling process the counsellor may well suggest other support pathways which may also help you such as mental health support or other crises services with your agreement depending on your circumstances. Counselling can throw up some issues which you find hard to deal with and confront and you may need additional help outside your weekly counselling sessions and should be prepared that this might be necessary.
The RADAR diagram completed with you at the initial assessment will stay with you throughout your journey and will be a live and potentially ever changing plan. Your counsellor will review the support plan / RADAR every 6 weeks to see what progress has been made and what you want and need to look at over the next 6 weeks. This maybe result in the same or new joint goals being set. The plan can be changed and amended but is always what is used as an outcome measure to assess your journey.
At the end of your counselling sessions a final RADAR will be completed and then compared with your original RADAR to chart your overall progress. Hopefully you will have made the changes you wanted and can see the progress you wanted to make and will have gained both insight into new pathways that lay ahead and gained the tools to follow these new pathways. Most people find they still have a few areas they still want to work on but recognize they have made significant and often life changing changes from the way they were towards the person they want to become.
After your counselling has ended we will send you a feedback form usually by sending an e-mail or through the post asking for your comments on counselling journey and the way we worked with you and will ask for any comments on the services you received. These can be returned anonymously if you wish and really help us see where we might improve our services in the future. We value your feedback and if you want you can also talk to us if you would prefer.
The journey through counselling can be painful and is never an easy option to take and we need to make sure that you are supported after your actual counselling comes to an end as the road to recovery from your sexual trauma has many twists and turns. We have set up what we call peer support groups across Hampshire which everyone can access. These are called STEPS groups and details can be found on this website under STEPS on our front page. These groups are for gender based and we have male specific groups.
The recovery journey you embark upon could mean there are still things you want to address and you can re-engage with us at a later point and return if you feel this is needed but you will need to have a 6 month break from the original counselling you received. If you choose to do this we cannot guarantee you will see the same counsellor.
If you wanted to offer to help RASAC after your counselling has ended with things such as developing our policies and procedures, help with fund or awareness raising campaigns you can do this by visiting our “Friends of RASAC” page. We have male advisory panels who meet quarterly which consists of male RASAC Counsellors a male management representative (Steve Witheyman) and male survivors who have travelled along the RASAC recovery road and want to help others starting out on the journey as mentors.
We are memberships of the Male Survivors Partnership and working towards national accreditation by Lime Culture to provide quality male services.Contact us now
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