Sadly, two people I care about very much have been sexually assaulted, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. For the purpose of this blog I shall call them “x” and “y”.
On both occasions our local rape crisis centre, known as SV2 ~ Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence; helped them to work through the assault. To face and come to terms with what had happened to them and to decide on how they wished to proceed after informing them of the options available to them.
You can read more about the work SV2 do here.
This specialist counselling service was crucial in helping both x and y to pick themselves up and continue with their lives. More importantly to learn who their true friends were and who to surround themselves with.
For them the best approach was to retreat from large groups and focus on the individual people they could trust and feel safe with.
These specialist counsellors are incredible, the work they do far~reaching and essential to the victims of this type of assault.
Seeing how they helped x and y made me want to do something to help raise funds to pay towards ongoing costs to maintain the service.
Sadly I learned that on 24 July this year SV2 were unable to secure any future long term funding for therapy.
They have a significantly high waiting list and without adequate future funds they were forced to decide how to spend what they had.
The difficult decision was made to close the waiting list meaning they could not accept referrals for the time being.
Hopefully they will be able to review this decision in a few months time and reopen the waiting list.
I cannot imagine how x and y would have managed without the support and care of SV2, their help was critical in helping them to cope with their assaults.
The trauma caused by these assaults cannot just “go away” and if left unresolved can leave the victim in a very dark place, ruining their lives and relationships with others, living in fear.
Even after undergoing therapy both x and y continue to suffer PTSD and dissociation because of the trauma they experienced. However, at least now they understand these feelings and how to work through each episode with thanks to the therapy provided by SV2 specialists.
I am deeply upset that SV2 haven’t been supported and given long term funding. Their service deserves to be maintained and funded. It is deeply worrying that so many people are sexual assaulted and therefore requiring this help. I wrote a blog previously about consent which you can read here.
SV2 is a charity, which surprised me as I feel they should be under the umbrella of a mental health services.
In their “about us” section they explain how they are funded…
“SV2 is a charity which is commissioned by NHS England, Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire County Council to provide the County’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) service. This service includes forensic medical examination, crisis worker support, 24/7 Advice Line and support from Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs). We work in partnership with the police, but independently in order to advocate for anyone who accesses our services.
In addition, SV2 is currently funded by Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Children in Need to provide specialist counselling services for victims and their families – all ages.
SV2 also provides Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner’s emotional and practical support service for victims of less serious sexual offences such as indecent exposure, revenge porn, sexting, etc.
SV2s work is overseen by a Board of Trustees which has responsibility for the ensuring that the Charity delivers its aims of: reducing the impact of rape and sexual abuse on victims (male and female) and their families; encouraging reporting of rape and sexual abuse; supporting victims through the legal process and; reducing the incidence of rape and sexual abuse by raising awareness.”
I want to help raise funds to assist with their ongoing fundraising. I needed to think of something that I could do personally to help. Long walks, climbing challenges, all kinds of physical events are not viable options because of my chronic health issues. So in the end I decided to shave off my hair.
I have shortish hair but a long fringe ~ which I hide behind. I’m not a confident person, although sometimes I may give off that impression. I am exceptionally shy and self-conscious, so by shaving off my hair I am making myself feel exposed and vulnerable, with nothing to hide behind ~ exceptionally visible!
On Wednesday 1 November I shall be shaving all of my hair off, photographs and video will following in a blog afterwards.
This is, I imagine how victims of these crimes often feel, vulnerable, exposed, isolated, watched.
So, if you would like to help me raise funds towards my goal of £500 to help keep this essential service going and hopefully help towards SV2 being able to reopen their waiting list for victims I would be exceedingly grateful.
My fundraising page is on the SV2 website, every penny raised goes directly to them.
If you could donate anything at all it would be hugely appreciated.
I hope against hope that you never have to seek support from a service like this. If you do, can you imagine how awful it would be to be told that the service is not available to you as the referrals have been stopped due to lack of funding?
The link to my fundraising page is below, thank you for reading this blog and any “shares”, “reblogs”, and/or donations are genuinely deeply appreciated.