Safe Places in a Small World

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Talking to someone about your experience with sexual abuse or assault can be extremely difficult, especially if you come from a small community and you aren’t comfortable with everyone knowing details about what happened.

First, it’s important to know that you are making a brave choice to share your story and seek support.

You deserve the opportunity to feel heard in a space where your privacy is protected. Whether it occurred last week, last year or decades ago, there are resources available to help connect you with people who will listen, with compassion.

Reaching Out

There are many ways to access counselling or support in your own community, with organizations that are committed to keeping what you share private and focused on your emotional well-being. Many organizations offer services that include 24-hour telephone help lines, individual and/or group counselling, accompaniment to hospitals, and police or court advocacy. Throughout Ontario, from major cities to smaller towns, help is available.

Feeling Safe

It’s completely understandable that when you choose to speak about what happened to you, you may want it to be in a private setting where you run a much lower risk of seeing someone you know, especially if you are seeking legal advice. That’s where contacting a firm outside of your town can be particularly helpful. Not only is there less potential for a conflict of interest, it’s more likely that your confidentiality can be safeguarded as your case advances through the legal system.

Your Support System

If you need immediate help, you can call a crisis phone line in your area or visit one of the 35 sexual assault/domestic violence treatment centres across Ontario for support. You don’t need an OHIP card to access these services and they’re led by staff who are trained to help survivors recover. Through these sources, you can also meet and connect with other women who have faced sexual abuse or assault. Knowing there are others who have overcome similar experiences as you may be helpful as you navigate through the trauma that can come with sexual violence.

Remember, you are not alone. You deserve to be heard.

We stand with you.

Shawn Adamsson