Survivors West Yorkshire, at the request of a female survivor, has launched the first secure online teleconferencing support group for female survivors.

A new online support group is being launched for female sexual abuse survivors. The free and confidential support group is for any survivor identifying as female. It will enable survivors to meet other women who have been through similar experiences and give them the opportunity to co-design the group’s support aims. The group will be professionally facilitated by qualified counsellors and initially run for 12 weeks once more than 8 female survivors register. Rape Crisis services are currently unable to offer such a service and all learning will be shared with them so in future they can look to offer the same kind of services.

Survivors West Yorkshire is the home of Ben’s Place, a pioneering and secure specialist digital cloud-based counselling service. It currently provides professional counselling, emotional support and advice during its operating hours. Its counsellors are BACP registered and have undergone specialist training to work online. During 2019 – 2020 it hopes to offer increasing counselling and support services offline across West Yorkshire.

Ben’s Place is named after a West Yorkshire male survivor who experienced childhood sexual abuse between the ages of 10 and 13. Ben took his own life shortly after his 23rd birthday.

Survivors West Yorkshire has, for 20 years, proactively lobbied to improve services. It believes that when society listens to the stories of recovery and growth that survivors experience when they are able to access good practice specialist services, it will want to support the amazing courage males and females show by breaking their silence to recover from the sexual crimes – done to them – as children or adults.

For more details and to register interest for the Female Sexual Abuse Survivors Online Support Group, please email ops@survivorswestyorkshire.org.uk