Abby works as an ISVA, and Emma works as a sexual violence counsellor here at ARCH. We also bring our skills together to work on another project, working as facilitators to deliver a weekly group programme, The Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit.
The Recovery Toolkit is a group programme which designed to support survivors in coming to terms with their experiences and to develop positive life skills and coping strategies. It lasts for 12 weeks and is designed for clients that have experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives, and are not currently in the criminal justice system. The trauma informed recovery model is simple and effective and focuses on the present, avoiding re-traumatisation at all costs. Each session lasts for 2 hours and has set aims, discussions, activities, handouts, and homework each week. This week we will be delivering Week 10, and the topic is focused around guilt, shame and self-esteem.
As facilitators, we are aware that survivors may experience feelings of guilt and shame, and that they are a common reaction to sexual violence. These feelings may be reinforced by others that may blame the victim or criticise his or her behaviour which can result in a person blaming themselves and feeling isolated with what they are going through. Breaking down the myths linked to sexual violence can go some way to move away from feelings of guilt and shame, putting the responsibility on the perpetrator for their actions rather than a survivor.
With only two sessions left before the tool kit is completed we are starting to consider clients journey moving forward. The recovery tool kit provides survivors with the tools and skills to own their recovery. As facilitators and we enjoy watching survivors confidence grow and their self-esteem increase
“The Toolkit had appropriate content, sensitively covered and delivered. Forward moving and reassuring. Facilitators very knowledgeable about content. Thank you. “ARCH Client