What To Expect At Every Stage
When you get in touch with us for the first time, either by phone or via our online form, we will gather some basic information such as your name, date of birth and contact details.
We will also ask you a few monitoring questions such as your ethnicity and how you would describe your sexuality. This information helps us to get the service right for each individual and demonstrates to our funders that our organisation is available to all members of our community.
We will ask you to briefly say why you are seeking support from our service. We do understand how distressing it can be to provide this information, so just a sentence or two about what happened will give us enough information at this point. All information you share with us is treated with sensitivity and respect.
If you refer yourself using our online form a member of our team will contact you during office hours to discuss the next stage.
Occasionally we are not the appropriate service, and if this is the case we will signpost you to a more suitable route. You can find more information on who we do and do not support here.
Once we've had that initial conversation, we'll book a time for an Initial Assessment appointment.
An Initial Assessment is a meeting that gives you the opportunity to find out more about our services and the sort of support we can offer, and helps us ensure we are the most appropriate service to be working with you.
it will take place online or on the phone (you can choose which you prefer), and lasts for up to an hour.
During the assessment we focus on how things are for you currently. There is no need, or expectation, for you to talk in any detail about what has happened to you. We appreciate how anxiety provoking a meeting like this can be, and our aim is always to make this experience as comfortable and safe for you as we possibly can.
Here is what some of our current Service Users say about their initial assessment:
Like most services we do have a waiting list and we're sorry to say that it can be lengthy.
But we do try to support you while you are on our waiting list. You have the option of receiving a call from us approximately every 6 weeks. These calls are a safe space to discuss what is going on for you whilst you're waiting for regular direct support.
These calls are completely optional and you can choose to start or stop receiving them at any time while you're on the waiting list.
You can also opt in to a women's trauma skills group while you wait, where you will learn how the body and brain reacts to a traumatic event, and why it can lead to things like panic attacks and nightmares. We'll teach you some tips on how to deal with those and talk about the effects of sexual violence and trauma. You won't have to say anything about what happened to you.
Direct support sessions are regular one to one support meetings held either online, by phone or at one of our bases in Exeter, Torbay and Barnstaple. You can choose whichever works for you.
Sessions are weekly, held at the same time and with the same specialist support worker. Every direct support session is led by you, putting you in control of what is discussed.
If you choose in-person support, our rooms are comfortable and thoughtfully designed to create a warm and safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings.
We have learned since the Covid-19 pandemic that online and telephone sessions are also extremely effective, and our specialist support workers are very skilled at working remotely. You may prefer to be in a place that's familiar to you, you may not want to or be able to travel, or you may just be short of time - for all these reasons we know that remote sessions can work really well for some people.