Why Self-Help?

Self-help groups exist for many of life’s challenges.  They are run by and for people with a common experience, rather than professional experts.

By coming together, individuals can find (and give) support, strength, solidarity and voice.  Self-help is not therapy or a substitute for professional/medical help, where needed.

S:VOX believes that self-help is an empowering process for survivors working through the impact of abuse (of any kind.) We work with an inclusive model of self-help based on sharing, encouragement and empowerment. 

We base this on 10 years experience of running self-help events and groups, in local communities and at national events. 

We will offer self-help opportunities throughout the year; see our events page for details here



Who are S:VOX events for?

Our events are run by survivors and supporters for anyone who has experienced abuse as a child or adult  e.g. child sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, bullying, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. Supporters - friends and family – and others interested in understanding and responding to abuse are also welcome at most of our events. Occasionally we run closed events for survivors or supporters only, this is always made clear in the publicity.  If a you would find it difficult to attend a close event alone and do not know another survivor who could accompany you, you are welcome to bring a  supporter. The survivor-only events will remain focussed on survivors’ needs if supporters are present.


The supporter events are for anyone who is supporting a survivor of any type of abuse experienced as a child or adult.  This could be a friend, spouse or partner, sibling, child, parent, foster carers, social/support worker etc.  Supporting someone who has experienced abuse can have a big impact and we have found these events very helpful in sharing the load and ideas about what is helpful support.


What are the aims of an S:VOX self-help event?

  1. To provide a safe space for survivors of abuse and their supporters to talk, listen and be listened to

  2. To help break the silence, shame and isolation surrounding abuse

  3. To help each other find strength and solidarity and to support each other in the process of recovering from the impact of abuse

  4. To help develop positive coping strategies and skills



What happens at an S:VOX group?

The programme for each event will vary. Some of the ways we often work include:

  1. Providing a safe space to share experiences, stories, struggles and helpful strategies with a focus on the present and the future.

  2. Using our creativity to explore and express the impact of abuse, the strong feelings it can evoke and the wisdom and spirit of our journeys. 

  3. Learning and sharing together tools and techniques for self-help

  4. Educational workshop and seminars that help to raise awareness of the impact of abuse and tackle particular issues e.g. self-harm, reporting, healing



Who runs the events?

The S:VOX team are mainly volunteers with personal experience of abuse. We have all been trained in safe group facilitation and have CRB checks. The events are also run within specific guidelines to make sure that they remain ‘safe spaces’ for everyone.  These guidelines cover areas such as confidentiality and respect and the group facilitators are responsible for making sure these are maintained.

We can provide training for anyone wanting to run an event – please see our training page.

We are currently recruiting for new volunteers. Please contact us for more information of you are interested.  Full training and support is provided.


Self Help Weekends here


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