Sexual Trauma & Abuse Restorative Therapies
Abuse in relationships can happen to anyone. It’s not normal, it’s never OK and definitely not part of a healthy relationship. It isn’t always physical, it can be emotional and sexual abuse too. If your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, it’s possible you’re in an abusive relationship.
No. There’s never an excuse for relationship abuse. Anger, jealousy, alcohol or wanting to protect the other person – none of these are excuses.
An abusive relationship isn’t normal, it’s not OK, and if it’s happening to you, you’re not to blame for the abuse. It might feel like you’re alone, but you’re not – you deserve to be safe and help is available.
It is important to seek help, but if you’re experiencing abuse, you shouldn’t confront your abuser on your own. Instead speak to a trusted adult (family member, teacher, youth worker or the police) about what’s happening to you.
If someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you shouldn’t confront the abuser on your own either, but you can seek help on their behalf in a way that is safe for you and them.
You can speak to someone in confidence at any of these organisations about abuse in relationships and how to get help – whatever your sexuality or gender identity. You can also speak to the police.
If you, or someone you know, is ever in immediate danger, call 999.
If you’re a young man who’s experiencing abuse from your female partner then it may be especially hard for you to tell someone. Some people have told us they would feel less manly if someone knew they were being abused by a girl, or if their female partner threatened them with false allegations in order to keep them silent.
Talk to an adult you trust, it’s really important, or speak in confidence to helplines specifically for men.
If you’re lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning or intersex, you can speak to organisations with people who understand what you are going through. You can also contact the Galop National LGBTQi Domestic Abuse helpline run by trained advisors.
It can be really worrying when someone you care about is being hurt or abused by their partner. The more supported your friend feels, the easier it could be for them to deal with what’s happening. It’s hard to understand when you’re not in that situation, so listen, don’t be critical and don’t pressure them to do something they’re not ready to do.
If you recognise the signs of an abusive relationship, and you’re hurting the one you love, it can be tough facing up to this, but you can stop and change your behaviour. Call the Respect phoneline who are experts in talking to people who are abusing their partners.
Sometimes young people in gangs feel they don’t have choices and have to do what’s expected of them from other gang members, be it sexual or illegal.
If you’re in a gang and you’re being pressured or expected to engage in any activity you don’t want to do, seek help here or contact Childline to speak to a trained advisor who understands the pressures of being involved in a gang.
Call our Advice & Support Line on 01962 868 688 or 01962 864 433
Anonymous SMS Text helpline service: 07860 027 793
Available 24 hours
"I have gained a new understanding of what happened to me. I am feeling better and my thinking is more positive."
"I am now in control of my thoughts and my life. I have gained self-confidence in so many ways and I am no longer haunted by the past."
"I have been given the tools to cope with everyday life. Without counselling I would have continued to deny my situation and feelings which was having extreme detrimental effect on myself, family and friends… RASAC has saved me from self destruction without the support I would have crumbled – a true life saver."
"My RASAC counselling has completely changed my life… I am a better mother, a more involved member of the community and I am able to keep myself safe."
"I was counselled for almost a year. I had a wonderful counsellor who helped me through a very difficult and unpleasant time in my life. It has been a process of healing by revisiting past places which at one time felt unimaginable. The journey has been raw and unnerving but slowly I came to see how I was repairing my damaged self. I finally accepted ownership of what had happened to me and was able to let go of my guilt and shame. My counsellor understood my outlook on life and created a connection with me that was very special. I eventually looked forward to my session as a weekly debrief rather than a purge. I am as happy and confident as I have ever been and I tell people about what I have learnt to help turn their negativity into positivity. Fear can be a very powerful emotion and prevent us from moving on in our lives but once it is confronted the clouds separate and you can focus on that hint of sunshine."
"Thank-you for the support, for the first time since talking about the sexual abuse to someone it is really helping me."
"Thank you so much for all your time and support while I was working through all of the stuff that happened - I really couldn't have done it without your help and input." Male client - June 2021
"The support, understanding and guidance that I've received from START has been life-changing. The whole process has been crucial for me to understand some of the trauma I'd experienced during my childhood. Who I've become as a consequence, who I am today, and how I process some of my thoughts, feelings and emotions." - April 2023
"I cannot thank Sarah at START enough for the counselling I received. I was a bit sceptical of the EMDR therapy I was offered at first but it really has helped me a great deal and I'm grateful for having the opportunity to go through it." - April 2023
"I'd like to thank everyone involved at START. You're doing a phenomenal job. I can't stress how important this journey has been for me. It's been a life altering experience." - April 2023