15 October 2020
Due to stereotypes and social attitudes relating to gender and sexual violence, male survivors may be especially reluctant to seek support or share what has happened to them. High quality services designed with gender-specific support in mind can help men and boys break the silence. A local organisation has recently received accreditation for providing this important service.
RASAC, the rape and sexual abuse counselling service provided by Community First, has been recognised for its high-quality services for male survivors through accreditation from LimeCulture CIC.
RASAC offers free counselling for adults and under 18s in Winchester, Test Valley, Basingstoke & Deane, Hart, and Rushmoor, as well as a peer support programme for survivors (‘STEPS’) and an Advice & Support Line.
The accreditation confirms that RASAC’s services meet the official Male Service Standards, which are supported by the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, NHS England and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. The Male Service Standards, developed through the Male Survivors Partnership and LimeCulture CIC, “enable organisations working with boys and men affected by sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation to improve and evidence the quality of service provision to male survivors, in particular recognising their gender-based needs.” (Read more on the Male Survivors Partnership website)
RASAC Service Manager Steve Witheyman said, “All of us at RASAC are grateful for this accreditation from LimeCulture CIC. We are proud to be a quality provider of services for male survivors and we are committed to helping survivors in Central Hampshire and North Hampshire access the support they need regardless of characteristics or background.”
RASAC accepts self-referrals and the relevant forms are available on their website. The team can be contacted by telephone on 01962 807037, by text on 07860 027793, or by email through their online form. The service is now resuming COVID-secure face-to-face counselling appointments after operating via telephone during the Coronavirus crisis.
RASAC website: https://start-org.uk/
RASAC general enquiries line: 01962 807037 (Telephone) / 07860 027793 (SMS)
RASAC Advice & Support Line: 01962 868688 / 01962 864433
RASAC Anonymous SMS Helpline: 07860 027793
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 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
"Thank you for the Lotus week end, my life is taking a turn for the better and my new journey begins now." - July 2023