The Safe Room is our original support service that we opened in 2011. It is a facilitated peer-hosted support group for adult male survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation. The idea for the group came from the voices of male survivors who just wanted to get together to talk, listen and learn from each other. Being together in a communal safe space in some way is writing the wrongs of the past, its the polar opposite of the type of space where sexual violence occurs in isolation and alone.
Whilst each group has our Group Facilitator and a volunteer at each meeting, group members take turns to ‘host’ the session, taking responsibility for keeping time, reminding members of key group contract points, and starting the ‘check in’ at the beginning and ‘check out’ at the end.
Each member of the group agrees to adhere to a Terms of Reference that sets out the guidelines and expectations for being a member of the group. Don’t worry though, as you can see its nothing to heavy, it’s there to ensure that everyone knows their boundaries and what is expected of them. But don’t think that you are expected to talk or reveal things about yourself that you don’t want to, you don’t. But again, experience tells us that the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of the group experience.
The group is ‘semi-closed’ which means that new members can only join the group once every third session in order to assist in developing a safety between attendees (can you imagine how anxiety inducing it would be if new people turned up at every meeting!). We will also limit the numbers to a maximum of 15 members at any one time, any more members in a room than would mean not enough time to be heard.
We’re grateful to Zurich Community Trust for funding the group, we couldn’t do this without their generosity. Members are always welcome to make a £2 donation to the group to help us keep up he supply of tea and coffee, just put it in the tin.
The Safe Room is open to adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, from the age of 18 upwards.
Its worth noting that everyone feels anxious about attending groups, that’s perfectly normal, its fear of the unknown and starting anything new often creates anxiety, but we can honestly say that through our experience, we know this will ease with time.
If you would be interested in joining The Safe Room, please let us know by telephoning 0161 236 2182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org