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Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is forced or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or another young person. It can happen to anyone – boys and girls. If you are being sexually abused remember that is never your fault. There is always help available for you, and someone to talk to, both face to face, over the phone or online, whichever is easier for you, but we think face to face is best.
At RASAC we offer free counselling to children and young people up to the age of 18 who have been affected either directly or indirectly by sexual violence or abuse.
Young people who have been sexually abused can experience many emotions and feelings which can be difficult to recognise and cope with on their own. Feelings can be anger, shame, guilt, confusion, sadness and many more. None of these are wrong, but they can affect your life and your relationships the people around you and make you feel lonely and afraid. Face to Face (F2F) counselling will help you understand your feelings and help you develop strategies to make positive changes in life. Whatever you say is confidential and private to you and the counsellor.
Counselling means seeing someone in a safe and secure place that you choose. It can be at your school or college, if they have rooms and we can talk to the school or college about that or you can come to us here at the counselling centre in Winchester. It can be during the day or during the evening or on a Saturday morning, whatever suits you best.
Counsellors don’t have two heads… they are just people who you can trust and talk with about anything you want. Counsellors will not judge you or make you talk about anything you don’t want to. They will not discuss anything you tell them with anyone else… including your family, or social worker or school. Our counsellors are trained in talking with and listening to you. They have loads of experience. They have worked with young people in schools and colleges and understand what you want and don’t want!
Its not all about sitting and talking about your feelings. But there might be times when you do want to just talk. Your counsellor will ask you what you want to do each week so they can bring in something to do or you can even make something over the time you are together. You might want to write a song, or draw a picture, or if you like to write you can develop a story.
Sometimes you might want to sit and say nothing much, maybe discuss your friends, or what you watched on YouTube. You may just want to sit and be quiet, or listen to music together or draw or paint or write and that’s all fine, it is your time to spend with the counsellor how you choose! Whatever you want to do and feel is totally acceptable because you are in control.
You can stop anytime you like whether at the time or have a week or two off if you want to, the time is yours and you decide how to use it and when you want it.
The counselling is about 50 minutes long each week and will last between 6 and 12 weeks. It depends on how well its going, and if you want it to continue. There will be times when you are sad or angry at the end of the counselling and may not want to come again and other times when you feel really good about yourself and want to come the next day!
The counselling is one to one with a counsellor but at the beginning your friend or parent or person you trust can meet the counsellor before the first session. If its in Winchester they can either sit and wait each time or go and have a coffee in Winchester while you see your counsellor. There are lots of places for coffee in Winchester.
We will talk to you along the way about how things are going and whether we think more counselling is needed, usually it’s not, but we will not just end it if we think there is more to do and you want to continue.
We hope you will get on with your counsellor and look forward your time with them. That’s not always the case and if you don’t like your counsellor or find it hard to talk with them you can tell us or ask someone else who can tell us. We will do our best to find someone else to meet with you.
If you can’t make it that’s okay we just ask that you let us know in advance.
We need to let the counsellor know you aren’t able to come.
If you don’t let us know, we will try to contact you (or someone you trust) to find out why make sure you are coming next time.
You can stop the regular slots any time but if you miss three consecutive appointments we will cancel your counselling sessions. You can always come back at a later time and date when you are ready.
All of our counsellors are volunteers and are not contactable outside the actual counselling but you can always call, text, or email the information and advice line and someone will contact you within 24 hours. In an emergency you should speak to someone you can trust. Check out our Advice and Information page for more info.
You can call or contact us at any time for advice and information. You can also use other parts of this website to find some answers about questions you might have. If you suspect or know someone is being abused you should talk to someone you trust.
Don’t hold onto any worries you have or think they’re silly, or that you will not be believed. You will.
Available 24 hours