WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A SEXUAL VIOLENCE COUNSELLOR?
The role of SOS Rape Crisis Sexual Violence Counsellors is to provide confidential, specialist support to women, and children aged 11 years +, who have suffered any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives.
Counselling is free and can be offered through ‘face to face’ or telephone support.
Counselling appointments are with the same counsellor and up to 20 sessions will be offered to support survivors.
Counselling provides a space to help survivors gain a clearer understanding of themselves and their situation.
SOS Rape Crisis counsellors never force survivors to talk about anything they are not ready to.
Survivors and counsellors will review whether they feel the counselling is meeting their needs on a regular basis.
Counselling does not bring with it the promise of total happiness. There will be other issues and situations in a survivor’s life that can and will cause pain. Nor does it offer the possibility of being able to forget all about the abuse.
What it offers is the ability to accept the abuse and live with it as part of their lives. They will never forget the abuse but they will remember it with less acute pain.
As time goes by, survivors will be able to recognise their own patterns and to feel and interpret their own emotions. They may have to face things that they do not want to face and make changes that are very hard to make or see things in a different way.
One of the first things to be learned in counselling is that it is healthy to have feelings.
At times survivors feel like running away or forgetting all about it, this is a normal part of the counselling process. If often feels like it gets worse before it gets better—but it is important to remember, it will get easier.
Counselling support is also available for family and friends who may a have been affected by the sexual abuse.