Our History

Survive begun in York in 1990 as a survivor-led support group for women who had experienced child sexual abuse. They found comfort in talking to others who had the shared experience of child sexual abuse. A helpline and library of self-help books followed.

Three decades later, Survive now supports any adults across North Yorkshire who have experienced sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, as well as grooming, sexual exploitation and the coercive sexual control often present in abusive relationships. We continue to host a library of self-help books and operate a Helpline every Monday to Thursday, 10am – 12noon.

Last year, Survive helped over 500 survivors rebuild their lives, their relationships and reach their potential.

“Survive has achieved so much since the first seeds were sown three decades ago. For those with experience of sexual abuse, the legacy leaves a long and difficult road to travel. Sadly, the need for the vital support and services Survive provides to aid people on that journey is as great as it ever was – perhaps even more so in these challenging times.”

Ruth, Founder of Survive in 1990

Support for victims of sexual violence York


I was referred to Survive by my mental health social worker. I had become too ill to work.

Fragmented memories in the form of flashbacks from seven years of child sexual abuse flooded my waking hours.

Sexual violence support services York


I enjoyed my work with my church. As a lady in my 70s, I also enjoyed the compliments received from one of the priests.

He often came to my home. Following an operation, the priest took care of me.

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