As part of my ‘40 for 40’ this year I visited the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre and was really interested to learn all about this Charity which helps both men, women and young people over the age of 16 in Dorset who have suffered from rape or sexual abuse.
I met with their lovely volunteer co-ordinator who told me all about the charity and the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to lend an ear and offer advice through either the telephone helpline, online live chat service or face to face councelling. They offer confidential emotional support to anyone who has suffered sexual violence or rape regardless of whether it was recent or not. Not only do they offer a listening ear but they are able to give advice on medical, legal and police matters and accompany survivors to clinics, police stations and clinics if required. The charity has a team of 30 Counsellors who are on hand and it is always stressed that those they help are survivors and not victims.
Last week was 'Sexual Awareness Week' and there was a National Campaign to help raise awareness. The hashtag #itsnotok was used across all social media and highlights the fact that a survivor should not be ashamed and it’s good to talk. Charities up and down the Country invited people like AFC Bournemouth to hold up their banner and spread the word. Survivors even came forward to tell their story and encourage other’s to not deal with the abuse alone or blame themselves.
If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually abused then please give them a call on 01202 308855. The telephone helpline is open *on a Monday from 1pm – 3pm, Tuesday 10am – 12 noon, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 7.30pm – 9.30pm and Saturday from 4pm – 6pm. A 24 hour answer phone service is also available.
Do you think you would be able to help? Would you like to volunteer? DRCSC are currently recruiting volunteers for the telephone helpline and live chat service. They are also looking to recruit volunteer councillors however qualifications are required for this post. Training will start in April and you are asked to commit to 6 hours per month and you must be over the age of 18 to apply. If it is something you may be interested in but would like to know more please contact the volunteer co-ordinator on 01202 308848. If you would like to know more about DRCSC then please visit the Website.
Thank you ever so much to the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre for meeting and educating me. It's a service which is required much more than I thought it was and I'm pleased to know that survivors of sexual abuse have a place that they can contact when they are in need of help.
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*Details are correct at the time of writing.