Advocacy Counselling Helpline

Thanks for Listening

"I've overcome things I didn’t think I could, and achieved more than I expected"

From time to time our service users let us know what using SARSVL means to them:

“I have moderate learning difficulties and mental health problems and SARSVL has worked well with me. Other services have found it too hard to work with me.” / “I am grateful to SARSVL and my therapist for helping me to see that I am not to blame for the damage that was done to me as a child and for giving me hope that I can recover from this trauma with the right levels of support and self-care.” / “Found the service helpful.” / “Thank you- this has been very helpful, all the benefits will sink in fully over time.” / “Thank you, this has realy made a differnce to me. I’ve had counselling before but not with sexual violence specialist and this felt different and important.” / “My counsellor was relatable and easy to talk to. The service offered was profecional and centred around my personal needs at this particular time. I’ve always strived to find resources that would help and interest me.” / “I wish more people knew about this service, especially doctors/GPs.” / “Non-judgmental, open minded, empowering, compassionate, supportive, tailored to personal needs, absolutely no faults or complaints, excellent service, welcoming and friendly, comfortable and feel at ease.” / “Brilliant service and a very caring environment” / “SARSVL is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has suffered sexual violence and the care and respect I received was 100%.” / “My counsellor has been amazing. My confidence has been almost restored back to my old self again.” / “I would like to say a big thank you to my counsellor for all her help and support over the last 20 weeks. She has helped me see life in a different way. Helped me to now have windows and doors in my brick work. Helped me understand my mind a bit better and see things for what they are. Me, myself and I.” / “I found my counsellor very helpful and supportive she helped me deal with everything I had gone through, especially in her art work that helped me a lot”. / “SARSVL counselling has saved my life. If I could stay on I would.” / “I think I am become more stronger than I used to be before. I want to move forward for my baby first of all after for myself and most important to feel safe”. / “I am a different person since coming to SARSVL. I learnt how to talk to people and be honest with myself and now have an amazing group of friends who understand how I feel better than anyone. Thank you so much. ” / “Especially these past few months I felt that I have been able to make positive decisions about my future – extending some of the skills I have picked up from my time with the group. I know these changes are continuous and will impact me my whole life and I am grateful to SARSVL for being there for me when I needed it most.” / “I have had some really great support in a safe environment. I thank all the staff that have helped me pull through. ” / “SARSVL has been a blessing. Working everyone has been truly invaluable, giving me a chance to talk about things that otherwise I would never have been able to talk about. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.” / “I am eternally grateful to SARSVL. I didn’t think I would be here for much longer.” / “I feel that the staff have help me towards overcoming and coping with the abuse I have had over the years and I have found it very helpful”. / “I have found this service helpful. I am able to go out more, and its more easy to come here”. / “Thank you – this has been really helpful – all the benefits will sink in fully over time.” / “Since being referred to SARSVL I have been able to completely change my life. For the past three years I have had the most amazing support, I genuinely would not be alive today without it. I am now able to put my abuse behind me and finally be able to start my life, move on with my future at my own pace and under my own terms, SARSVL has taught me I am worth something and can be a strong women who has the right to say NO.” / “Thank you so much for the support you offer it has made such a difference to me. My counsellor was truly wonderful.” / “The service has been a great help, provided me with a lot of support and reminded me that I should believe in myself. Thank you for all your support and thank you to my counsellor she has been amazing!” / “It has opened my ideas of what I can achieve. I am more determined to do things myself, for me”.

If you’d like to see the changes we’ve made to services because of feedback from our services users, please click here.

“I would just like to say that I found your service incredible. At times where I thought I didn’t deserve to be there because ‘other people have it worse’ I was made to feel like somebody.” / “This service is invaluable. My counsellor was wonderful and patient.” / “(I) honestly cannot express how much this charity saved me, saved my job, my relationship and helped me back on a road of self belief.” / “I struggle with guilt and shame every day but this service taught me how to take it and recognise it, feel it safely and try to let it go.” / “I could write and bang on all day about how amazing you are. But please never stop doing this and maybe someday in the future I can contribute in some way to this amazing service.” / “You’re all amazing, you never judge me, you listen and you give me time and space and that’s all I need… thank you for picking up the phone today.”

“What you guys do is so special” / “You’re lovely. Thank you so much” / “It’s a relief to talk about how I feel” / “It’s so good that there’s a service like SARSVL” / “I’m glad I found you guys, it was worse when I was on my own” / “SARSVL have really helped me.” / “I want to pass on a message to all of you there: Thank you, it’s a big thing.” / “You’re all amazing, you never judge me, you listen and you give me time and space and that’s all I need… thank you for picking up the phone today.” / “You really have supported me and I really appreciate it.” / “Thank you for everything you have done to help me through this.” / “Thank you, you have no idea how much it means to know there’s someone there to listen.” / “I just want to say thank you.” / “I felt scared but I’m not as scared after talking to you.” / “Sometimes when it’s all in your head, you can’t shut it up, but saying it out loud is like turning down the volume.” / “I can tell you things I can’t tell anyone else.” / “I feel better when I talk to you and you help me make decisions about things.” / “I feel loads better… because you don’t say it’s my fault.” / “Sometimes when I speak to someone at SARSVL it makes me feel less scared; less angry.” / “Thank you for being there and not being shocked by what I say.” / “You guys are so impressive for opening every day! Impressed that you do it all for tea and custard creams!”

“Until I started talking to SARSVL, nobody understood.” / “So glad you’re here, I would go crazy if I didn’t have you to talk to.” / (You’ve) been amazing. I really value the opportunity I have had to meet with you. You have been the only positive aspect in what has been an awful year. The service has absolutely met my needs, handholding, sign-posting, listening and advising. I am very grateful. Thank you so much.” / “The individualised approach given to me, the care and understanding and the total professionalism.” / “Knowing I had an appointment coming up, gave me something positive to look forward to.” / “It has been a lifesaver, literally.” / “This is a brilliant service that I would recommend to anyone. Thank you for all your support.” / “I feel that you communicated in a way that was helpful to me.” / “Before I came to SARSVL I was so traumatised and felt so sad and upset all the time, about what happened to me. When I started seeing the ISVA I started to feel more confident and got so much support from her. I would like to thank you for all the support that has helped me get through this. Thank you very much.”

“I know I would not have been able to deal with this on my own. I have come so far in such a short time and that is due to the help and support provided to me by you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” / “I realise the benefit of advocacy that I didn’t get from another advocacy organisation. This has been very refreshing. This is a very accessible service.” / “I am grateful for the services because I got support here from the beginning and now I’m much more aware of where to go for help. Even if I am happy or not with the outcome, you helped me get to this stage; I couldn’t have done it on my own. Also, at least I had the chance to hear from the police with the review of my case and at least I had a chance to be heard.” / “Very good one to one support.” / “I’m glad it was a woman I could talk to.” / “I felt respected and felt happy to come to the centre. I looked forward to coming.” / “I felt free, such a warm welcome, I was free to express myself.”

“I have liked the help given.” / “For someone to be there when I needed to talk. Also to be there as a support during the court visit and court date.” / “I am very grateful for the help and support I received.” / “I have enjoyed coming here as it has made me realise a lot of things, e.g I wasn’t to blame … I wasn’t in the wrong. There’s support out there for me. I am not alone.” / “Being believed was important to me and helping me to find solicitors for the right support.” / “I was given very useful information.” / “A brilliant service!” / “I will miss coming here, it got me out of the house and have a walk around town too. I looked forward to coming.” / “When I openly speak to my close family and friends I will always say if it had not been for the centre’s support, I feel I would not feel as good as I do today.” / “A massive thank you.” / “I feel your service was imperative to my recovery.”

And it goes on…

It feels nice and safe when SARSVL talks to me.

I’m glad I called, it’s really helped, I appreciate it. Thank you for listening.

I didn’t know whether to ring or not but I’m glad I did

SARSVL made me think about things differently

You understand me. Nobody else listens. Thank you for being there for me.

Thank you SARSVL. My friend has told me she noticed a positive change in me and I told her you lovely ladies at SARSVL have been a big factor in that change. Without your care SARSVL I could have gone to a very different place.

I’m really grateful I can ring. It helps.

Your helpline is the best in the world

I give you an A* for service.

I am really glad you guys are there

Thank you for being there. What you do is really important.

Sometimes it’s just having the chance to talk. All you need is someone to talk to about what happened.

Thank you.  The knot I had in my stomach has finally gone.  Thanks for making it go.

It’s been really good to talk to somebody like yourself, somebody who isn’t friends or family – it was all building up inside me.  I feel better now – fantastic – thank you.

I wanted to call to say thank you for all the support you give.

“This has made a huge impact, thank you, and it also brings a huge relief. I felt like I had some stand up for me like I felt deserved for a long time.” (Advocacy Service User)

I appreciate you being there with me.

I always feel better when I ring the helpline.  Weekends are worst because I am on my own.

I feel a bit better for telling you what happened.

Thank you for your wonderful service.

This helpline is really good, it helps to talk. Thank you for listening to me.

It makes me feel better – you understand not necessarily because it’s happened to you, but because you’ve had the training.  You’re all really nice.

I feel better than I did before.  You’ve helped me see things from a different perspective; I’m grateful to you for that.

I like to talk to SARSVL because you understand and don’t tell anyone, that’s good.

I like (SARSVL) because you don’t shout at me and tell me off.

Thank you – it really helps to talk.  I thank you very much.

I’ve only been speaking to you for a few minutes but I feel calmer.

I rang (on the bank holiday) on the off chance you’d be there, and when you picked up that was brilliant.

It’s great to talk to you because you all understand what it’s like.  I know that you’re here for me.  I love you!

I feel much more relaxed and positive after speaking to you.I have been able to pick up my life and keep moving forward. I’m not stuck anymore. Thanks for helping me feel more confident.

I didn’t trust you at first but I’m starting to trust you now.

I feel relieved, it’s good to talk and be believed.

It’s lovely to know there is support out there.

Ringing SARSVL gave me a voice; I was no longer silent about a horrible experience.

It’s a relief to tell someone about something that happened 50 years ago and still bothers me.

I feel so much better after talking to you.

Brilliant and a much needed service. It is very valuable to have a friendly voice who can explain a very complicated issue.

It’s such a relief to talk to someone who isn’t telling me it’s all my fault.

I appreciate the support that you give.

I had no idea what my options were but speaking with somebody who could answer my questions, helped a huge amount.

SARSVL is the first place to listen, and believe me.

I’ve been wanting to talk but I felt there was no-one I could talk to, so it’s been really helpful to talk to you.

Thank you, you have helped me make sense of what has happened to me.

Your opening hours help me speak to you when I need to.

You’re very understanding. You’re a good listener.

Thanks for doing what you do.

One day I would like everything to be ok and call you just to say thanks for everything. SARSVL is the only place that tells me I have nothing to apologise for.

It helps so much to talk, be listened to and not judged. I feel calmer after talking to you.

I realised I wasn’t alone and could ask for help. Thank you.

It’s good to know someone is at the end of the phone when I’m panicking.

Thanks for putting the stickers on toilet doors, it stuck in my mind and then later when a young person confided in me about their experience of rape I remembered about you and could signpost them on to you.

I can sleep after talking to you, I relax.

It took me a long time to pick up the phone and speak. The response I got was fantastic and gave me the confidence to start speaking about my experience.

When I text you I feel safer.

I tried to do it alone for nearly a year, but now is the time to get more support. You understand me. Others don’t.

I’m so glad I was able to talk today, I’ll use the face to face service again.

Confidentiality is so important to me.

If you’d like to see the changes we’ve made to services because of feedback from our services users, please click here.

Call our helpline free on
0808 802 3344

Your call should be answered immediately during our helpline opening times, unless we’re on another call. If we’re closed or on another call you can leave us a message and we’ll call you back.