Real stories from some of our clients
Freya was referred to the charity by a local police force, as she was in a very vulnerable situation where her children had disclosed that they had been sexually abused by their birth father. She was emotionally lost, facing becoming homeless and struggling to talk about any of her own feelings or emotions. ACTS FAST have supported her by utilizing our trauma model to help put in place coping strategies and psychoeducational tools to help her through the pain and continue to support her family. This is what Freya said:
“It means so much to me that I have received support from ACTS FAST over the past two years. Just knowing that there are people that I can talk to who understand and that I'm not on my own. Having someone to talk to and the emotional support knowing that you were there for as long as I need you. I just didn’t know of anyone in my situation who I could talk to and still don’t. The emotional support I received really helped me, by being in an even better place to be able to support my children.”
Sam is a father whose daughter disclosed she had been sexually abused and he didn’t know how to cope with the feelings that kept going round in his head. He thought he had made a safe life for his daughter, and so after his daughter disclosed this devastating news, his life fell apart. His job was at risk as he needed to take some time off, and he was struggling to work out some of his most fundamental life functions. ACTS FAST has been supporting him with talking therapies, stabilising the situation in his mind, and giving him a safe space to talk about how he’s feeling. Sam said:
"Thank you for just being there, it is such a relief to talk to someone. I felt so alone with this.”
Laura is a mother supporting not only her younger child who was sexually abused but is helping keep her family together as the weight of a disclosure was feeling heavier and heavier each day. We started off supporting just Laura, and a few months later on the father sought our support. The impact of the trauma has rippled through the family, but now as time progresses, the family are becoming stronger, and we’re so pleased to be standing with this family. Laura shared with us:
"ACTS FAST has simply been my crutch to lean on in times of trouble. They came into my life via recommendation from social care. They have been tirelessly helping our family. Providing comfort, reassurance, expert advice, counselling, behaviour management their skill set is vast and unrivalled. They are simply trauma experts, now wonderfully branching into supporting professionals in understanding trauma, they really are quite remarkable.
They have given me support to become who I am today.
Sexual abuse touched our lives. In the beginning it was ever present, the triggers, the emotion, the descriptions of abuse, drawings that no child should ever have to do, she so amazingly conveyed horrors, yet these still weren't enough for the criminal justice service. Her drawings are so poignant of a system that needs to change. ACTS FAST have helped me to make her voice heard to professionals, to fight for her, to fight for them all, whilst helping us to heal, grow, move forward.
ACTS FAST follow you throughout your journey as once experienced sexual violence raises different emotions and different reactions at different times. ACTS FAST are always there. Just a few weeks ago at school my child did sex education, this began to affect her that realisation of right and wrong. Mummy was there for her as ACTS FAST were there for me. Their flexibility in providing the right support at the right time is just priceless. They do indeed stop and listen as the world carries on.”
Diane came to ACTS FAST following a referral from a partner social worker in another agency who knew of our support services. Diane’s daughter was sexually abused by someone known to the family and needed help because other agencies couldn’t help her. Sadly, for mums like Diane, they are simply not recognised as victims going through trauma themselves, and so fall through the gaps of most other support or public sector services. We’ve stood with Diane, and this is what she said:
“My world was turned upside down. ACTS FAST was the only place I felt safe to talk about what I was going through without fear of judgment. I didn’t feel like I deserved any help as I was feeling so guilty, that I failed to protect my child.”
John is a father coping with the fall out of his young teenage daughter disclosing sexual abuse. ACTS FAST is supporting him while he is dealing with social services involvement, the schools support, and police oversight. John is struggling to come to terms with the complex emotions, loss of trust and the stress of the legal and financial proceedings. We have been supporting John by chatting about all his different options and helping him process the impact of this life changing event. John said:
“I don’t know where I would be without the support from ACTS FAST.
Just a note...
All names and images have been changed to protect a persons identity. All stories have been shared with permission. Our families wanted to share their story so that others in a similar position can access the right support from people who understand.