Our team of specially trained counsellors understand the devastating impact rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse can have on your life. You may be experiencing feelings that you have never felt before and the assault may leave you feeling vulnerable, frightened and alone. These are completely normal feelings but you may want to share these feelings with someone who understands.

Our team of counsellors have been trained to work with people who have experienced rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse.

We offer counselling to anyone who has experienced rape, sexual abuse or sexual assault. The Centre also offers counselling to “significant others” for example partners or relatives of those who have experienced sexual violence and who may struggle with coming to terms with what has happened to the person they care for. Separate counsellors ensure that all discussions are kept confidential.

Our specialist team of counsellors all work within the British Association of Counselling and Psycholotherapy Ethical Framework. Your crisis worker or ISVA will discuss the counselling service with you or you can contact the team directly by calling 0161 276 6515.

Initial assessment

When you first attend Saint Mary's SARC you will have an assessment session. This offers the opportunity of ensuring this is the right service for you and that it will meet your needs. The counsellor will ask you about the feelings you are currently experiencing and ask a number of questions to assess your mood. This will help in evaluating the therapy provided to you.

In some cases the SARC counselling service will be unable to meet your current needs and it is important that we help you to access the appropriate services. We will discuss this with you and with your consent we will refer you to a more appropriate service.

Contract

If you and your counsellor agree that the SARC counselling service is appropriate you will be offered six sessions in the first instance. Where possible, appointments will be arranged at a time to suit you. The same counsellor will see you each week. In the unlikely event that your counsellor is unavailable due to sickness or unexpected absence you will be offered an appointment with another counsellor. You can request a different counsellor if you feel that is appropriate.

You appointment will be for 50 minutes. The counsellors will keep counselling records that will be held confidentially at the Centre. We will not disclose this information without your consent unless we are ordered to so by a court judge or where we have concerns for your, or somebody else’s safety, however we will usually inform you if this is required.

Pre trial therapy

If your case goes to court we are obliged to make the Crown Prosecution Service aware that you have had counselling. You may be asked by the investigating officer for consent for us to release these records. We will contact you and inform you that a request has been made and invite you to go through your counselling records with your counsellor. When you have been made aware of the content of the records and if you give your consent to disclosure, we will give a copy to the courts. Where you do not agree to disclosure we will do whatever we can to prevent disclosure. However, we maybe ordered to show them to the trial judge. We will attend the court and inform the judge of your request for confidentiality. The court Judge will make the decision as to the relevance of your notes in the court case.

How will I know if counselling is working?

Because counselling helps you identify your feelings around what has happened to you it can sometimes leave you feeling unsettled at first. Your counsellor will discuss this with you. The counsellor will ask you questions at regular times during your therapy which help you to see your progress; give you and your counsellor a clear focus and help us to evaluate the counselling service.

Evaluation of our services

We want to provide a service which supports people who have experienced sexual violence. Your views are important to us. We have feedback forms which can be completed anonymous and posted into the feedback boxes available either in the examination or counselling suite, or if you wish to make any comments on our services please contact the service manager or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) as below.

SARC:

The Old Saint Mary’s Hospital
York Place, Off Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL

0161 276 6515

PALS:

The Chief Executive
CMFT Head Quarters, Cobbett House, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL

0161 276 8686
pals@cmft.nhs.uk