START offer a arrange of group activities and support groups across Central, North and West Hampshire and these are part of the free services Start provide. For those looking for some Peer Support groups we offer our monthly STEPS (Surviving Through Empowerment & Peer Support) programme which anyone seek to join by just sending us a referral and we will get back to you. These groups are self directed with help and facilitation from the START team of group workers.
We also offer pre-counselling psycho-educational groups for those who would like to attend a group with other survivors before commencing any one-to-one counselling. These groups last for around 8 weeks and are not a replacement for one to one counselling but do help some people who want to know more about sexual trauma before committing to one to one counselling, and understand the process. These groups cover more broad issues around sexual trauma and not personal matters or personal details and are completely confidential.
We can and do offer specific pre-counselling groups such as groups for students, male and female only groups, Under-18s and LGBT+ groups when we have enough demand for such groups.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King Jr.
STEPS is a peer support group for survivors of sexual violence or sexual abuse. STEPS is a voluntary service available to survivors who are either, waiting for counselling, receiving counselling, have completed their counselling or indeed may not be ready for counselling but still wish to be supported.
STEPS is a confidential space where you can connect with others who have had similar experiences. STEPS values your wellbeing and strives to empower you with the tools necessary for the future.
Following the aftermath of sexual abuse, STEPS aim is to provide you with a safe social space to explore a number of ways to become stronger, stay in control, build self esteem and confidence.
At a STEPS group you will gain support by connecting with your peers, our volunteers, and regular guest speakers.
During the monthly group session, you will be impartially supported through group discussions, speakers and workshops, e.g. how aromatherapy and mindfulness can help as positive coping strategies.
We are professional Counsellors and Volunteers who will support you through the facilitation of the groups.*
At STEPS we encourage survivors to participate in the running of the group, for example by suggesting topics they might like to explore.
We will provide a warm welcome to everyone, along with refreshments of course!
STEPS is for the survivors, supported by the survivors. STEPS is you! We are together.
*Please note we are unable to provide counselling sessions at STEPS group meetings.
Call STEPS landline on 01962 864433 or mobile on 07756 179353 – please leave a message and we will get back to you.
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings will be held in Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Fareham and Havant.
No. Separate sessions will be held for our Male and Female survivors.
Parking will be available either onsite or nearby.
There is no joining fee, just a £5 donation when attending a session.
All personal data will be securely kept in a locked cabinet with only limited access by the STEPS team.
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’ve been struggling with my trauma for over 6 years and Amanda has been so supportive and comforting in how she approached my recovery. She’s taught me how to rediscover myself and work on how to change the way I acknowledge what happened to me and how I am able to change the way it is affecting me in everyday life. I’ve put her advice into action and I’m overwhelmed with the results. Amanda is a true credit to RASAC and I’m eternally grateful for her help."
"Counselling at RASAC has helped me to feel more confident in myself and that I am a worthy person in this world."
"The counselling was exactly what I needed. I found the whole experience very eye opening and can now walk away with a whole new level of confidence and happiness."
"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."