New group in Yarmouth for sexual abuse survivors

Lucy Attelsey, from Belton, set up Surviving United at the beginning of the year, alongside Angela C

Lucy Attelsey, from Belton, set up Surviving United at the beginning of the year, alongside Angela Cushion and Lisa Ambrose. - Credit: Supplied

Survivors of sexual abuse will soon have a new place to turn with the start of a new group support session.

Lucy Attelsey, from Belton, is working as volunteer facilitator with Surviving United, which was set up at the beginning of the year by Angela Cushion and Lisa Ambrose.

The meetings were first held in Lowestoft and had an overwhelming response.

Now, the women have been approached by Victim Support in Yarmouth, who said they had multiple calls a day from women who had suffered sexual abuse.

So their service in Yarmouth will soon be open for survivors of current, recent or historic abuse.


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Ms Attelsey, 35, said: 'Our aim is to provide a relaxed and friendly support service for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

'Our group members suffer the physical and emotional effects of abuse in their lives from day to day, quite often do not have anyone to confide in. Depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder can really affect a survivor's ability to function and carry on.

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'There are women in our community right now suffering in silence and it is our intention to be nearby and to be visible to these women who are looking for support where previously there has been none.

'There is not any pressure or commitment to attend every group, discussions within the room are confidential and a contract of expectations is adhered to by all service users at all times.

'We are aware at all times that service users may be of a vulnerable nature and our approach to each individual is person-centred.'

The meetings will be held monthly, with the first on July 29 at Victim support, 31 Market Row.

Ms Attelsey added: 'This is an opportunity for some to escape from normality and feel able to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of consequences.'

The group also boasts a private Facebook page, where people can share their thoughts and feelings in a more informal setting between meetings.

It also acts as a signposting service as although the group doesn't offer counselling, they are able to point people in the right direction for the services they might need.

They'll also be working closely with the Sue Lambert Trust, who offer counselling in the same building, so women can access a full package of support.

'We want to be there to help these women and bridge the gap between victim to survivor and beyond,' said Ms Attelsey.

'Our aim is to help many of these women in our area to not only cope with their daily lives, but to work toward a brighter future.

'We cannot offer professional counselling but we can offer a voice of experience and unconditional positive regard toward each other.

'We do not make judgements and we accept each other with care and consideration.'

• For more information visit www.facebook.com/survivinguniteduk or www.survivingunited.weebly.com. Or contact 07900 391 412.

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