James and Julie are victims of childhood sexual abuse. They suffer from anxiety and depression making it very difficult for them to hold down jobs.There are no free specialist services in London to help them so they have to find the money themselves to get support. They began counselling at the Aurora Foundation, but had to stop as they could no longer afford to pay for sessions. This project provides the means for them and eight other victims to get the help they desperately need.
The effects of childhood abuse can be profound and long lasting. Many victims suffer depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and may have difficulty sustaining employment or forming relationships leading to loneliness and isolation. Victims can also experience addiction, self harm or attempted suicide. Many do succeed in ending their lives as they see that is the only way out of their pain. Recent research by the NSPCC indicates that 1 in 4 young people have experienced abuse.
Aurora exists to help adults who were abused in childhood. Working from premises in south west London, we provide specialist counselling, bodywork and group support services. Unlike other agencies, Aurora provides 'Therapeutic Community" care, where, in addition to personal counselling, we encourage development of social relationships via support groups and social events. Currently, Aurora does not receive funding and cannot offer free or heavily subsidised counselling.
As the issues for victims are so deep and distressing the therapeutic work is delicate, painstaking and often prolonged. Therapists at Aurora are highly skilled and experienced health professionals - some are themselves survivors of abuse or come from families where abuse occurred - enabling a true understanding of the issues facing clients. This project will help five people, but we see it as a springboard for further financial support so we can help more victims.