Silent No More – Tope Line

You are with your friend and they seem very quiet – you get the sense that they want to tell you something but they just can’t seem to. Then they tell you that they have been abused. It can be really hard to know what to say and what to do. When the abuse is then reported, which is the right… Read more »

by Tope Line 4 months ago

You are with your friend and they seem very quiet – you get the sense that they want to tell you something but they just can’t seem to.

Then they tell you that they have been abused.

It can be really hard to know what to say and what to do. When the abuse is then reported, which is the right thing to do, unfortunately for a lot of people the world changes at that moment. What should be a moment of support, help, reassurance, relief and the start of being safe can often, in reality turn into confusion, uncertainty, loss of control and regret. This shouldn’t be how it is. You should be able to feel in control and informed. Despite the best efforts of police officers, social workers and other professionals, thereality of going through an investigation, waiting for legal processes and outcomes is difficult and long.

It has been far too long for this support to have become available for young people who have experienced abuse and who do not know who to tell, what to say, what will happen and whether they will be believed.

Survivors in Transition (SiT) is a Charity in Suffolk which has supported adult survivors of sexual abuse for the last 11 years. The Tope project was set up last year to provide free, confidential support for young people 13+ who have or are experiencing abuse. Tope provides a quick response to young people who ask for help. We ensure that young people can express their needs, get help with self-esteem, build resilience, be provided with face-to-face support sessions and, if need be, receive therapy by fully qualified therapists. The sessions help young people understand what has happened and why abuse and trauma affects people so much, both at the time and in the future.

Feedback from people who have had sessions to help them is incredibly positive. It is highly likely that most people know someone who has experienced some form of abuse or experienced abuse themselves. For many people it can be unclear where and how to get help. Most young people tell their friends first, which can be difficult for them and their friends – Tope can help you work out what to do and how you want to do it. You do not need to have reported the abuse which is what makes it a unique service in Suffolk – we’ll work at your pace and won’t do anything without discussing it with you first. We believe that you should have some control over this process.

Jo Grant, the Project Manager is running focus groups to gather the voice and opinions of young people to shape how the service can best meet their needs. Tope needs to be easily accessible – young people need to know about it and be able to easily ask for the help that they deserve, and young people have a big part to play in how that is delivered and how we raise awareness of it.

Your input to help shape the service, provide feedback and receive some support is warmly invited – whether this is through providing feedback for social media communications, focus groups or just suggestions of how to we can best help then please do get in contact.

It can be really challenging to know how to cope with trauma and abuse – if you need help get in touch through our website, there are loads of ways to make initial contact including a webchat service and a simple self-referral to get the support that you deserve