"After enduring a relationship of abuse and violence, my partner went on to rape, beat and strangle me. It was at this point that I decided that I couldn’t carry on suffering and made the difficult decision to speak out...
The decision to report my partner to the authorities for abuse that I had been made to believe I deserved would have been even harder if it wasn’t for the support I received.I found the justice system daunting and the prospect of a court case terrifying. I felt vulnerable and under pressure to make the right decision. I was referred to the Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy Service, and the ISVA talked me through my options and gave me the freedom of choice. She listened to my worries and explained aspects of the legal system which seemed complex. With her support I was able to build up my strength to face the pending court case.
The positive relationship that I had with my ISVA was based on trust and the reassurance that I had somebody, not in an intimidating uniform as a point of contact. Somebody on my level, with a genuine understanding and compassion for the situation I found myself in. I firmly believe that as a direct result of this relationship I was able to find the strength to proceed with my decision to leave my partner and successfully take him to court.
Before my counselling at Doncaster Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, I was at a low point in my life. I found myself struggling to deal with the aftermath of the attack. I had turned to self harm and could see no hope that my life would improve. I was welcomed by DRASACS and began visiting my counsellor on a weekly basis. Just knowing that I have this session with my counsellor provides me with reassurance that I have somewhere safe to go. Somewhere, where I am heard and understood without judgement.
My counsellor has helped me to deal with my thoughts, without resorting to self harm. As a result of the help from my counsellor I am now at a place where I no longer consider self harm as an option. This is somewhere I could never see myself at one point. The support of my counsellor has enabled me to turn my life around, so much so that I have started university and have high hopes for the future. Thank you so much."