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As far as it is sad, I think that the recent findings in Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal have finally given victims a voice and that the media hype and the related surge in the number of trials have changed the way victims will be considered in the future and hopefully raised the attention of other countries. I sincerely hope that they will be taken more seriously when they find the incredible strength to report.

I contacted Lifecentre before Savile’s case came to light. After more than 10 years of psychotherapy in France, I still felt very low, self-deprecating and full of anger and was taking it out on my boyfriend, my friends. When you are used to be scared, to not be able to trust your own family who says you’re fantasizing, you feel very isolated and can’t believe that some people can actually be nice to you and love you for what you are and not for any sort of excitement you might give.

Lifecentre is not the first charity I got in touch with regarding my issues. I went to see a well-known charity in Paris and emailed another to get some support. I was hoping to get to know people who could understand me as they were survivors themselves and helped me with counseling or group therapy. I couldn’t explain why but I had a completely different welcoming in France and in England with Lifecentre. In France I found it very difficult to find survivors I could share my experience with or find counselors who just simply knew about the different forms of sex abuse, the consequences the victim has to deal with on a daily basis and how to help them. Many counselors wouldn’t let me talk about it for more than a few sessions, underestimating the gravity of the facts, focusing instead on the consequences rather than on the roots of my problems. I felt they were not comfortable talking about it and were helpless, so were the members of these charities. They were all full of good intentions but they were not helping me. Many of them didn’t understand why I didn’t go to the police and why I am still in contact with my parents.

When I emailed Lifecentre, I got a quick and friendly reply full of understanding and they managed to arrange a first appointment with a counselor within 2 weeks in the centre of Worthing. I was surprised to see how beautiful the premises were as if everything was arranged so that we could feel at ease: the colors, the objects, the butterfly theme, the room full of light, the comfortable sofa. It was like a home, a safe place where I would be understood and listened to. The counselor was very friendly and professional. I completed a questionnaire so that they could assess my psychological situation and had a first session to explain why I needed their help. At the end of the session I had a contract to sign to notify I was accepting the rules of the charity and committed myself to give a certain amount according to my means. I then started to see a counselor every week who is a survivor and for the first time of my life had the feeling that the therapy was working. It was the first time I experienced the integrative therapy and this has really helped me to be in control of my emotions and not let the abused child in me take my life in control and start to stop the self-sabotaging process. I also found the courage thanks to her support to express my anger towards the abusers directly.

Healing from sex abuse is a long process but I wouldn’t be on the way of recovery without the help of Lifecentre. Thank you so much!