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Advocacy Counselling Helpline


Offering a range of holistic therapeutic support to women survivors (18+)

Confidential, free, specialist and independent from the police or statutory bodies. Our services are provided online and in our women-only safe space, to women aged 18 and over who have experienced any form of sexual violence or abuse at any time in their lives.

Our Counselling service is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW) and adheres to their ethical framework and guidelines.


Important notice before making a referral

Due to limited resources and the large number of women wanting to refer to our service, we can only take a limited number of self-referrals per month. When we are open to referrals we can accept completed referral forms via email, post, in person or over the telephone.

If you are considering referring yourself, or signposting a client to the service please ensure to read our referral guidance here: Counselling-Service-guidance-for-self-referrers-signposters-1

Professionals: If you are a professional working with a client who would like to access counselling, please do direct clients to our website and our referral guidance. If you feel that a service user that you are working with or who you have signposted to our service would struggle to self-refer, please feel free to make contact to discuss how we could facilitate the referral:


Please note that we can only accept referrals from professionals directly where access issues that would prevent the client referring themselves have been discussed and it has been agreed in advance with the counselling manager that a professional may submit the referral on the client’s behalf. Please ensure you contact the Counselling Service Manager to discuss these referrals a week or more in advance of the waiting list reopening.


Waiting List

Unfortunately, due to overwhelming demand for our service, we have now had to close our waiting list for the remainder of this month. We will aim to reopen at 2:00 pm on Monday 1st July.

Due to limited resources and the large number of women wanting to refer to our service, we can only take a limited number of self-referrals per month. Therefore we would recommend accessing and completing the form as close to the reopening date/ time as possible once we reopen.

We recognise that this support is essential for victims and survivors, so whilst we cannot provide this right now, we can advise the following resources for seeking support in Leeds:

Women’s Lives Leeds has a directory of Women Friendly support services, including sexual violence support:

MindWell also provides support with mental health in Leeds, please see the link here:


We offer…

The SARSVL Counselling Service works from the empowerment perspective, encourages self-determination, is trauma informed, challenges the myths of sexual violence and focuses on the individual needs of women. Offering a holistic approach to recovery and providing a different strands of therapeutic support and counselling options:

Short Term Counselling – opportunity to develop well-being strategies through reconnecting with and developing internal and external resources over the course of eight sessions.  This could minimise the impact of sexual violence on daily functioning and to help you alleviate symptoms of trauma such as flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, anxieties or relationships difficulties. Find out more here.

Pre-Trial Therapy – similar to Short Term Counselling, but tailored to women who are currently involved with the Criminal Justice System. Find out more here.

Twenty Sessions of Weekly Counselling – the space to explore your feelings and thoughts about what happened to you over a longer period of time, providing an opportunity for in-depth exploration and processing of traumatic experiences, as well as creating coping mechanisms to manage their impact. Find out more here.


What happens next?

When we receive your referral we will contact you to acknowledge it and confirm if you have been added to our waiting list. We might also contact you to ask some extra questions to help us understand if this is the best service for you.

When a counselling space becomes available we will get in touch to offer you an assessment. If you miss your assessment session twice, unfortunately we can’t offer you any more. If this happens, you are welcome to refer yourself again in future if you would like to, but this will be based on availability at the time.

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.