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Sex abuse victim says support group is vital
6:20pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
A CHILD sex abuse victim says an Oxford support group saved with funding from the National Lottery completely turned her life around.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke after the Sexual Violence Survivors Support Group got funding for another year.
The eight-week course sees 12 women discuss their experiences in a process which leaders say shows them they are not alone.
NHS funding ran out in July, leaving a waiting list of 10 women who needed help.
But a £10,000 Big Lottery grant means the programme, run by the Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, can continue.
The victim, who is in her 40s, joined in Easter last year and said: “I was incredibly nervous and really didn’t want to go but knew I needed to. Within minutes of the first meeting we were all at ease.
“Although it wasn’t easy, over time, it was possible to face the things that have been locked away for 30 years with the gentle, but strong support from the facilitators.”
Centre service manager Natalie Brook explained that the group provided a service not available on the NHS.
She said: “Often the women have never discussed their abuse.
“It’s really common for other women to feel the same way and that’s really important for them to hear.”
NHS Oxfordshire Drugs and Alcohol Team director Jo Melling said the NHS money was given on a one-off basis to keep the group going last year as some members also had addiction problems.
The next course will begin next month. For information email email@example.com or call 07506 412422.
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