Dorset Rape Crisis
Money from the Safer Dorset Fund goes towards the core costs that are associated with the running of the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre (DRCSC).
This is a service that works to support male and female survivors of recent and non-recent sexual violence in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. Since 2011, they have run a counselling service from Poole, which has since been expanded to hubs in Weymouth, Dorchester and Blandford. The hubs allow those who live in the more rural parts of Dorset to reach the services offered by the DRCSC. These services include emotional support, as well as practical support and advocacy, which are available from both the dedicated helpline and face-to-face counselling that the service offers.
In 2014, they identified the need for a men’s group. Their men’s group pilot scheme proved very popular and continues to run today. In 2015, the charity launched a Children and Young Person’s Counselling Service, where the ratio of boys to girls utilising the service is higher than that of the ratio of women to men utilising the adult counselling services. The Male Support Group commenced in August and ran every fortnight for six weeks with 6 survivors attending every week. From April – September 2015, the centre delivered 91 counselling sessions to men and 615 sessions to women.
Since the SDF granted the money to DRCSC, 9 new volunteers have been recruited, have undergone the DRCSC Volunteer Training and Induction Programme and are now able to counsel survivors. These volunteers mean the service continues to ensure survivors of sexual abuse across the county are able to get the help they require.
Sally is 33 years old and lives in Dorchester. She was referred to the DRCSC counselling service after calling the Dorset Sexual Assault Referral Centre - The Shores - for advice on how she could get emotional support for the sexual abuse she had suffered as a child. Sally had not spoken to anyone about her childhood sexual abuse but had recently started having flashbacks after ending a short term relationship where her partner had displayed similar behaviours to her abuser. Sally did not want to report her abuse to the police.
Sally had an assessment with DRCSC’s Clinical Lead and was offered weekly counselling sessions a few weeks later at a hub located in Dorchester. The specialist counselling that Sally received was to help her cope and recover from the trauma of her childhood sexual abuse and to create more resilience in herself for the future.
Sally had 24 weeks of specialist counselling and at the end felt stronger and more able to cope with day to day life. Her sleep patterns have almost returned to normal and the flashbacks have gone. The ‘door’ to DRCSC’s counselling service remains open for Sally, should the flashbacks start again and she can always contact DRCSC for counselling support, as can all those who use their services.
Find out more information about Dorset Rape Crisis and the work they do.