"I can't believe that we've been in our office for a full year; this time last year we were waiting for the carpet to be laid and we didn't even have a kettle to our name! What a difference a year makes .... now we have a team of three paid workers and 16 amazingly skilled and committed volunteers answering the helpline and supporting women in person all over the county. We also have a fine looking office and a kettle! It was a big moment when we received the keys to the office in July 2011 and we were able to start building the organisation; recruiting staff, recruiting and training volunteers, writing policies and procedures to make us a safe, professional and high quality organisation - but bigger still was the day we opened our helpline in November last year. We have been astounded by the demand for support from women ever since and in our first six months of operation we have been contacted 300 times by women or agencies representing them. We have some interesting discussions in the office about these figures because whilst we are all very pleased that our services are needed and women are finding us - they also represent a huge amount of sexual violence in the county, which is sobering. It's important that we remember that the women contacting us have rarely reported the offence to the police and often told no-one about what has happened to them; for these women we are the place where they can begin to tell their stories, safe in the knowledge that we will believe them. It's simple stuff in one way - but represents something huge to a woman who has been silenced and scared".