Support for Women

Did you know?

It is estimated that there are around 33.5 million women living in the UK today. It is also estimated that 1 in 5  women are impacted by a sexual crime between the ages of 16 and 59.

That figure changes to 1 – 4 if you include children under 16.  (Office of national statistics )

That’s a staggering number of women who are impacted by a sexual crime in their lifetimes. Are you that one in four that needs our support?

Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual activity. It includes  childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, FGM (female genital mutilation), sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Around 5010’000 women experienced a sexual crime last  year alone.

Less than 15% of women impacted by a sexual crime report it to the police.

It is believed that 90% of women impacted by rape know the perpetrator.

1/3 of young women, aged 18-24 reported being sexual abused as children in a 2011 NSPCC study.

The impact

Sexual abuse can have a profound impact on a  woman’s life, it can stop women living the life they choose and without support can have a huge impact on your long term emotional and physical wellbeing.

If you have experienced sexual abuse, rape or a sexual   assault of any kind you may find it difficult to talk about.

Whether you’re facing talking about an historic event (s) or something that has happened more recently, it is  helpful to talk to a trained professional.

Women impacted by sexual abuse are probably living with some painful feelings that need to be processed, you may recognise some or all of these feelings below:

  • Feeling numb, or shut down
  • Feeling anger, sadness and confusion
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • Feeling like it’s “your fault” or you’re somehow to blame
  • Feeling like you cannot go on
  • Feeling afraid, scared
  • Feeling dirty and damaged
  • Silenced, or afraid to speak about what has happened
  • Feeling stressed and anxious

Then there’s the physical symptoms that you may experience alongside

  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Loss of appetite / nausea
  • Not able to stop the memories / flashbacks
  • Trouble sleeping / concentrating
  • Not able to feel close to people or be intimate
  • Physical pain & Panic attacks

Talking about your experience can have a positive impact on your life today. It can help reduce some of the emotional distress you are living with and physical symptoms such as panic attacks, flash backs and sleep problems. It can also help you make sense of what happened or is happening.

How we can help?

We want to help women living in the shadows of abuse to start leading the lives they want and deserve.

We are here to help you make sense of your story and come to terms with how sexual violence has impacted your life.

We can help sign post you to organisations that can help with issues that  are often interlinked with sexual crimes.

We offer weekly counselling  sessions to females who have experienced rape and/or sexual abuse in South Cumbria and North Lancashire. We welcome anyone who identifies as  female, straight, lesbian, trans or non-binary.

We also offer the counselling service to friends and family of women who have experienced rape and/or sexual abuse so they can help their loved ones through their counselling journey.

All of our counsellors are qualified, experienced and registered with a professional body.  They have specialist trauma training alongside their counselling qualification and understand how childhood sexual abuse, rape or   sexual assault impacts a woman’s life. We are here to   support you in a non-judgemental and sensitive way.

Ready to get in touch?

Please complete our referral from below and forward it to our office email enquiries@birchalltrust.org.uk

Adult Referral Assessment Full Form

Our waiting list is currently a three month wait. For more information, please contact our office.

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