One In Four Kent
Counselling services for victims of abuse
Regular, long-term counselling services for victims of abuse with a particular focus on those who have experienced abuse as a child.
About the project
Set up in 2020 in response to a demand for support, One in Four Kent offers regular, long-term counselling services for victims of abuse with a particular focus on those who have experienced abuse as a child.
They applied for funding of £5,000 to cover core costs for their Maidstone hub. During the pandemic the service had to be moved online while recruiting additional counsellors to take on a large workload which quickly accumulated within weeks of the Kent branch opening.
Survivors of child abuse, violence or trauma often feel isolated, many cannot find their voice to speak up until something like ill health, or self-destructive behaviour forces the issue.
By the time many survivors recognise they need specialist support, they have often been to a number of agencies, but shame and the taboo prevents them from disclosing. This non-disclosure means they have accumulated unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage their lives. Specialist counselling with One in Four works with the ‘elephant in the room’ and on reducing shame.
Sonia* was sexually abused by her stepfather when she was a teenager.
When Sonia arrived at One in Four, she presented as shy and withdrawn. She was very apprehensive about what therapy would entail the impact it would have on her life.
For the next four months Sonia attended each session, discussing the family dynamics that she found chaotic and disruptive, fuelled by alcohol and substance misuse. Her job was also facing uncertainties and physical abuse with her current partner escalated.
Sonia’s engagement with therapy enabled her to make informed decisions to leave her family home and relocate to live with her biological father.
12 months into the therapeutic relationship, Sonia had settled well into her new living arrangements with a positive routine.
After 18, Sonia met her goals and felt empowered to make new positive ones, which included a change in her career. She found a job within the caring industry, completed courses in further education and embarked on a new positive relationship.
These changes saw her regain confidence in herself, re-establish positive links with her family and siblings and made the decision to end therapy.
*Name changed to protect identity