Like countless others, we had never heard of Safeline and the work that it did, until the fateful weekend where our child was sexually assaulted.
After contacting the police, we were put in touch with a ChISVA there (a child specialist Independent Sexual Violence Advisor). She was an amazing help to us in the darkest of times.
Our case went to the CPS but dragged on for many months with us not knowing if it would reach court. All through these extremely tough times, our ChISVA was there to explain everything to us step by step – all the explanations were done totally age appropriately to us as parents as well as to our child.
She was with us right through all the months ahead waiting for the court date to arrive – eventually it did and, yet again, she was there with us all the way through the week of the court case and then again holding our hands when the verdict, guilty, was delivered.
As a family we had never experienced anything like this at all, and our chISVA and Safeline made a very traumatic time that much easier to deal with as she could help us with any questions or queries, we had as well as just be there in person to support us through it all. We never felt alone through THE worst time in our lives – thanks to Safeline.
Another extremely useful service of Safeline that we used was the pre-trial counselling for our Child – we met with the counsellor who, again, spoke to us totally age appropriately, to assess what help/counselling was needed by our child while waiting for the court case. She then met with our child weekly talking through feelings and preparing them for what would happen in court.
Without Safeline’s help and the support of our chISVA and Counsellor, by the time we reached the court case (9 months after the assault took place), we would have all been a wreck, physically and emotionally. Their support enabled our child and us to be in court, head held high, to see the perpetrator convicted and sent to prison.
Our child then attended weekly Art Therapy groups – this enabled them to release their feelings about the assault, the court case and anything else that was troubling them, through the medium of art. It could be there were no words spoken during the sessions but the support this therapy gave our child was extremely important and very much needed.
Safeline also supported me as a parent with much needed counselling after the court case which allowed me to smile again and to be happy about looking forward. The weekly sessions with my counsellor were my chance for me to talk through any of my worries or fears and to know none of what happened was my fault.
Through coming into Safeline and talking with the team, we heard about the Young Peoples Projects. These are projects set up by the Early Intervention Team for young people who have either been sexually assaulted (or at risk of) or deemed as vulnerable.
These groups enabled our child to meet others who have been through a similar experience thus letting them know they are not alone. These groups have encouraged our child to come out of their shell, to take part in activities they enjoy and all the while making new friends who treat them as the person they are and not the label forced on them by this assault.
Through a heartbreaking situation, we wouldn’t wish on anyone, Safeline were there for us as a whole family right from the very start and are still very much part of our lives today.
All this care love and support from a fantastic local charity has all been free of charge – every step of the way. We wouldn’t have been able to afford any of this support and I know it would take us years to pay back for all the wonderful much needed support that every single person from Safeline gave us.
Without them, we wouldn’t be here as the family we are today.