A counsellor working in Spalding wants people struggling with memories of abuse to know there is help at hand.
Frances Garland, a counsellor and trainer as well as being co-ordinator of SPACE4U in the town, believes the recent national newspaper stories concerning allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile may have stirred unpleasant memories for some.
Nationally, calls to helplines have gone up since the story broke, although Frances says she has not noticed that increase being reflected locally.
However, she said: “The recent publicity about Jimmy Savile has drawn attention to the helplessness of children in the presence of a powerful adult. It has also given some people the chance to talk about what have till now felt like private, shameful secrets.
“Helplines are telling us that many more people than usual have been calling them. One of the common figures used is that it affects one in four girls and one in six to eight boys.
“If anybody in this area is struggling with memories of abuse, I’d just like to remind them that SPACE4U exists.”
Frances pointed out that sexual abuse can mean anything from inappropriate touching right though to the worst extremes, but that whenever it happened it was “deeply upsetting” to the victim.
She said: “Sexual abuse is usually much more about power than about sex. Research shows the abuser is usually known and trusted by the child and the abuser is very good at making themselves a friend of the family.”
Frances also wants people to know that SPACE4U, which offers counselling sessions at Broad Street Methodist Church and at Johnson Community Hospital, “doesn’t cost an arm and a leg” and doesn’t have a long waiting list.
Professional counselling is available by phoning 07982 467720 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org