One survivor tells us about her journey and experiences using our services
After a drunken breakdown to my best friend on the other end of a phone, I had finally admitted I had been raped. Feeling more vulnerable than ever, the only feasible option was to ask for help. Typing the words “Rape Crisis” into Google felt dirty, clicking on to the website felt wrong, and the whole time all I could think was, "This is a mistake". I saw that they held a drop-in service and decide to go the following week.
I walked past the entrance twice, but eventually found it along with what seemed like a 20-button buzzer. Up the stairs counting each one as I went, I rang the doorbell at the top.
A smile opened the door and asked what I needed.
“I’m here for the drop-in.”
“OK, someone will see you as soon as they can. Would you like something to drink?”
She made me feel less awkward – something that I didn’t know was possible. I was seen quite quickly and taken into a private room. The room was calm with candles and blankets, far less clinical than I’d pictured. I was never pressured into talking, it was all at my own pace. She gave me lots of helpful leaflets and put me on the waiting list for one-to-one support.
A few weeks later, I received a check-in email by a Rosey worker making sure I was getting on OK and letting me know that I’d start support sessions soon too. A couple more weeks and I was in my first one-to-one. The centre is very flexible and works around my schedule. I am bad at talking, especially when it comes to such a tough subject, but my Rosey support worker helped me open up about my trauma and really tackle it. I learned healthier coping strategies and how to ask for help when things get bad. Most importantly, though, we worked on the blame I felt, which was a major issue I struggled with.
I took part in group run by the centre and it was a real eye opener for me. It made me realise I wasn’t the only one struggling, which helped me feel less alone. Together we worked through problems we had faced and offered our own solutions.
After finishing my one-to-ones, I was offered the opportunity to join a collective of service users to work together to provide a resource by survivors for survivors. Joining the Rosey Project Community has had such a positive impact on my life. Being a part of something that has the potential to do so much good has been a privilege. Through the RPC, I have attended Scottish parliament and had my voice heard on gender-based violence in a room full of people who have the power to make change. Most importantly, I have met an incredible group of people that have shown me it does get better and your past doesn’t define you.
Credit: A young survivor from the Rosey Project Community