I was a well-respected and hard-working professional yet I found it difficult to like myself. I could not tolerate anything I perceived as a mistake.

When I arrived at Survive, I was reluctant to reflect on my past – especially the years before I left home for college. My father, now deceased, had sexually, physically and emotional abused me and dominated the home in which I grew up. I did not want to ‘rake up’ details of the past abuse so the Survive counsellor instead helped me understand why I was so self-critical. As the work progressed, I was able to acknowledge my own emotions and find self-compassion and forgive myself for what I saw as mistakes. This process allowed me to reconnect with my mother and piece together happy memories. By being able to remember the good times, I was able to change the narrative that my whole childhood had been abusive.

Sexual abuse counselling services York


I was in my 40s when I reached crisis point and was unable to function.

The abuse happened when I was a child and Survive was my last hope.


I was seven when I went to visit a friend of my parents. He sexually abused me before offering me some of his wife’s jewellery.

He then frightened me by saying I would be in real trouble if anyone found out.

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