Anonymous survey for sexual violence survivors to consider possible paid counselling service in Bristol, Avon and Somerset

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Maranatha Pizarras via Unsplash
14 February, 2019

 

Survivors of sexual violence are invited to complete an anonymous survey for the Sexual Violence Support Consortium, which will identify demand for a possible paid counselling service in Bristol, Avon and Somerset.

This is in response to the long waiting lists for counselling that many survivors encounter, especially if they are waiting for free counselling services, where demand is particularly high. These waiting lists delay the start of much-needed talking therapy to process their experiences.

The survey has been created by Voscur on behalf of the Sexual Violence Support Consortium, which consists of Barnardo’s Against Sexual Exploitation (BASE), SARSAS (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support), The Green House and Womankind Therapy Centre. It is part of a feasibility study funded by a grant from Awards for All England, part of the National Lottery Community Fund.

There are many barriers that prevent local survivors of sexual violence and abuse accessing support, as identified by the consortium’s Sexual Violence Needs Assessment for Avon and Somerset, published last year. Waiting times, a lack of awareness of available support, and not knowing how to access it, were some of the obstacles faced by survivors.

As one survivor described it, “When you find the courage to speak to someone, you want to do it there and then, not in six weeks’ time.”

Some survivors also encountered inadequate or unsafe paid private counselling; the potential counselling service discussed in this survey would involve professionally accredited counsellors. The survey will also determine the need for this potential service, what it would look like, and the best price point to meet demand and cover running costs.

Any survivor of sexual violence and/or abuse (or, in the case of child survivors, their parent or carer) is eligible to take this survey, and all answers will remain anonymous.

If you have any questions about participating in the survey, please contact Jennifer McLamb, Consortium Innovations Manager, by emailing jennifer@voscur.org or calling the Voscur office on 0117 909 9949.

 

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