Dan* was raped by a friend while they were watching football in his flat. Dan was able to report the crime to the police that same night, and they brought him to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Here, our Crisis Support Worker made sure that he was safe and calm while the forensic examinations were carried out, and stayed with him while he gave evidence. Some of Dan’s clothes were taken as evidence, so we gave him fresh underwear and trousers, and a hot shower.
Our Crisis Support Worker then made sure Dan had a safe place to stay, and organised an appointment at the genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, so he could be tested and treated for STIs.
Dan spent five hours with us in the SARC, but this was only the beginning of our support. Our Crisis Support Worker introduced Dan to our Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), who would go on to support him for 18-months – helping him prepare for the court case and arranging for him to meet regularly with one of our counsellors for pre-trial therapy.
The forensic evidence, coupled with Dan’s testimony secured a positive outcome at court, and Dan went on to receive counselling from First Light after the trial.
“I am eternally grateful for the time and energy put into my counselling sessions. I started the journey feeling lost, like my identity had been taken and that I was infinitesimal.
“For the first time in long while I was seen as myself, and someone told me that I am worth being seen. These sessions have been a lifeline; bringing back my identity and a life I’d lost and had taken. Thank you.”
*All names and identifying details have been changed in the case study.