Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre run a counselling service which provides a safe space where women survivors of sexual violence can work towards explore their experiences, with the support of a trained counsellor.

There is often a wait to access counselling - we can give you more information about this when you contact us.

Who counselling is for?

The counselling service is open to any woman over the age of eighteen who is a survivor of sexual violence whether in the past or recently, as a child or as an adult. Anyone who defines as a woman will be offered the use of our counselling service. In line with OSARCC’s current policy on women-only space, anyone who does not identify as a woman will not be offered counselling support at OSARCC. However, every effort will be made to identify appropriate counselling services for men and non-binary people.

How do I know if it will help?

Counselling may not be right for everyone, so before you come for your first session we’ll ask to meet you to check that counselling is the right route for you. If you don’t feel that it would be beneficial for you at this time, we will try our best to help you find the support which is right for you.. We don’t expect you to know exactly what you hope to gain from counselling, or to have any specific goals in mind – although you may do – counselling is about providing a safe space which feels right for you.

What will happen at a counselling session?

Counselling sessions take place in a women-only space, usually last an hour and they are free. There’s no pressure, and no agenda, and you can take your time to work through what’s happened. It can be upsetting or can bring back memories, so after your session you might need some support or a bit of space. Counselling is about what works for you, and what will help you deal with the sexual violence you have experienced. Your counsellor will never judge or criticise you, she will understand and help you take back control of your life and move forward in your own time. She can’t give you advice but she can listen and help you find your way through, which might include giving you practical information about where else you can get support.

How long can I have counselling for?

The counselling service runs in blocks of 12 weekly sessions. If you and your counsellor agree it is right for you, then you can access up to a years’ worth of support from OSARCC. Each session lasts 1 hour.

Who are the counsellors?

OSARCC counsellors are all qualified, or undertaking a recognised training course. In addition, they all undergo OSARCC’s internal training programme which covers rape and sexual abuse in more depth. All of our counsellors are women.

Does OSARCC accept referrals?

Yes, we accept referrals from survivors themselves and from others, including other organisations, who have the survivor’s permission. Find more information about making a referral.

Is it confidential?

All initial queries will be treated in confidence by our counsellor and your details will not be shared with any other organisation. Any information you share within the counselling service will be kept confidential within OSARCC.

Some information about women attending the counselling service may be shared with other OSARCC team members, and with the OSARCC clinical supervisor. We use non-identifying demographic data in our reports to funders and only share feedback from service users when we have permission to do so. We will only break confidentiality if you ask us to, or in certain circumstances where we’re concerned for your (or somebody else’s) safety. We will discuss this with you in more detail at your first meeting.