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Counselling for Adult Survivors of Sexual Violence and Abuse

Who is the service for?

Men and women over the age of 18 from the Sunderland area, who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual violence, either in childhood or as an adult, and who are looking for support to address the impact of their experiences.

We also work with men from South Tyneside and Gateshead who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or rape or any form of sexual assault in adulthood.

Our clients often come to us with problems such as flashbacks and intrusive memories of the abuse, panic and anxiety, depression, low self-confidence, difficulty concentrating and issues in relationships.

What does the service offer?

Free, confidential, face to face, individual counselling from qualified and specially trained counsellors.  You can ask to be seen by either a male or female counsellor as you prefer.

Our counsellors are all specifically trained to work with sexual violence issues.  We provide our clients with an understanding, accepting and non-judgmental counselling relationship, within which clients can explore and share feelings associated with their traumatic experiences. We help clients to identify support mechanisms and choices, build self-confidence and work towards their goals.  The number of sessions a client may have varies according to need, so that we can respond to each client’s individual issues.

What do we need from clients?

There are no restrictions around when the abuse took place or if there was police involvement.

Sessions will usually be weekly with the same counsellor and it is important that clients feel able to commit to regular attendance.

Counselling can often be difficult and painful and our counsellors are there to support clients through this process.

Where does counselling take place?

Much of our counselling takes place at our main office at 51 John Street, Sunderland SR1 1QN.  Please note that both male and female clients and staff use this building. For clients who live in South Tyneside and Gateshead we will identify a suitable venue to provide counselling.

If you would like to find out more about this service or make a referral please see the “How do I refer?” section of this website or call us on 0191 514 7007

Todays News

February 2019

Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence
Independent Accreditation Programme

News today from Lime Culture that Sunderland Counselling Service has been successful in applying for a  funded place to participate in the Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence in 2019.

The Independent Accreditation Programme is delivered by LimeCulture CIC. The programme will award a Quality Mark to services that demonstrate they meet the Quality Standards through a robust and independent accreditation process of documentary evidence review, interviews and site visits.

The Quality Standards create a framework and benchmark that can be used to develop and improve service provision for male victims/survivors, in particular recognising their gender-based needs.

There are 24 Quality Standards across four domains; Leadership & Governance, Access & Engagement, Service Delivery and Outcomes & Evaluation. They set out the expectations of the organisation’s leadership, staff and also the client experience.


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My Story

I am a girl with no cares in the world,
I’ve got a son who makes me so proud.
Happy as can be,
no worries I can see.
I love my boy,
playing with his toys.
One day we went out,
to have fun, seldge about.
This is when it happens, its not very nice,
we were sledging down a hill when we bumped in the ice.
I was very hurt,
my boy was a star!
There was no one in sight, not even a car.
He cuddled me close,
made me count to three.
I broke my back,
Thought that was it for me!
My family was there,
full of care.
The love they gave me, made me see,
I was still alive, death was not for me!
Days went by, they were dark and dim,
I didn’t want to let anybody in.
Months went by, and I did cry
I felt so scared, before this I was never shy!
I started to feel alone,
I went cold as a stone.
The pain hurt so much, it was really ruff,
I pushed people away and took it tough.
I wanted to be normal, take my boy on a bike ride,
but my back wouldn’t let me so instead I lay in my bed and cried.
My family were there every day
wishing they could take my pain away.
From an independent lady,
to a sole with no dignity.
Couldn’t wash my hair,
feels like everybody stare’s.
A dark cloud was hovering over me,
but I felt nobody could see!
I realise now this was called depression,
and now thankfully I’ve learned a lesson.
There are people out there who really care.
I was upset, I was down,
but I fell I’m turning around.
Its still a fight,
but I can see the light!
So if you feel confused / not amused,
be strong like me, and you will see your dignity.
I’m getting better that’s why I’m writing this letter.

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An Angel in Disguise

Why am I here?  Why am I there?
Amidst these lonely depths of despair
Does anyone care?

How much can one person take?
Until its time again for bed
Can’t  sleep, mind awake
Heartbeat racing, pulsating
Enough tears to fill a lake

So in the dead of the night
There are jobs to be done
Can’t remember the last time
I had so much fun!

People look, people stare
I wish they wouldn’t
Its too hard to bare

So many questions fill my head
Why?  What?  When?
How?  Has?  Where?
Does anyone care?

A life-lines thrown amidst the gloom
Time to talk in the counsellors’ room
Someone who will listen
Until the stars begin to glisten
Someone who will understand
Until you can hear that brass band
Someone non-judgemental, supportive and caring
Until you finally find your bearing
Your questions answered ………  Your Angel Cares!


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