What is Counselling?
It is a one to one relationship which gives the person the opportunity of talking about personal problems on a regular basis. The counselling relationship provides the space for a person to speak in a safe, trusted & confidential environment. The counsellor helps the person come to terms with what has happened and empowers them to look to the future in a more positive way.
How Does Counselling Help?
Counselling helps the person to explore their feelings in relation to their trauma. It is an enormous relief for someone to be able to talk, to open up and express painful memories and feelings that may have been bottled up for a long time. Counselling enables the person reach their full potential, so that their experience of sexual violence no longer controls or overwhelms their life.
How long does counselling take?
Each person is different and it depends on their individual needs. It can vary from a few weeks up to a few months or longer. Most people feel some benefit even after a few sessions. Initially, the client will be offered up to a total of six sessions. Each session lasts an hour. At the end of the sixth session it will be decided between the counsellor and the client how many additional sessions may be needed. If at any time a client wants to end or leave the counselling they have the choice to do so.
What does it cost?
The first ten counselling sessions are free to all clients. After that time a donation is requested. Donation boxes can be found in each counselling room. If someone wishes to make a donation through our website they are welcome to do so.
Is counselling available to men?
We provide counselling to men who have been sexually abused or raped. While sometimes it is more difficult for a man to come forward, the counsellors are very aware of this and will treat their needs in strict confidence.
Is there help available for a partner, family member or friend?
A disclosure of sexual violence can be devastating for those close to the survivor and sometimes they are afraid of saying the wrong thing. A counsellor is available to talk through these issues with the supporting person either on the helpline or face to face.
I’ve just been raped, what should I do?
There are important Do’s & Dont’s that you need to know if you want to report it to the Gardai:
- Do not wash until after a medical examination because important forensic evidence may be washed away.
- Do not wash or discard underwear or outerwear, as these will be needed for examination.
- Do contact the Wexford Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Service as soon as possible. A counsellor will support and accompany you throughout the whole procedure.
- Do remember that you are entitled to speak to a female Garda, if you so wish.
- Do remember that a female doctor or your own G.P. may examine you if you wish. The Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) based in Waterford Regional Hospital is staffed by specially trained medical personnel. They can be contacted directly at 051 842157 if you decide not to go to the Gardai first (otherwise they will make the necessary arrangements for you to be examined in Waterford).
- Do remember if you are over 16 you are entitled to confidentiality from Gardai/Doctors.
- Do ask for names of any Gardai/detectives you have significant contact with from the time of your first report.
- Do request a copy of your statement (if you make one)
What happens if I want to report to the Gardai?
The decision to report can be very difficult. The counsellor will explain to you what the procedure is. She can also accompany you to the Garda Station for support if you wish to make a statement.