Peer support groups

We were funded by Comic Relief to set up and run a peer support programme made up of actual and virtual peer support groups.

The actual groups have up to six victims meeting in a closed setting to talk about their feelings and learn from each other. The programme consists of 10 sessions, each with a theme including: flashbacks and nightmares; trust; sleep; safe relationships; managing thoughts and feelings; healthy body/healthy mind; anger and triggers, support from family and friends; coping mechanisms; future hopes and goals. These groups have been very successful. Some members of earlier groups are now training to become peer facilitators and they will go onto run new groups.

The virtual group uses WhatsApp to communicate and support each other and is a closed group.

Quotes from police

"I cannot speak highly enough of ALL the ISVA’s"
"Every ISVA is passionate and motivated and are highly professional."
"In short a pleasure to work with and we look forward to working many more years together"
"The ISVAS are so valuable and assist in so many ways"
"9 times out of 10 when a victim is worried about a police investigation they say that they feel stronger knowing that they have someone independent to explain things."
"I feel a lot of victims would not stay on board if the ISVAS were not about and often victims are still scared to speak to police officers ."

SAFE Link service users feedback

"this is just what I have been looking for"
"it’s such a relief to know I am not the only one feeling this way"
"being part of the group helps my confidence, helps me to look on the positive side and have understanding support"