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Plymouth Sexual Violence Counselling

We support people who have been affected by sexual violence, by providing short-term therapy and counselling. This service is currently available to people who live in the Plymouth area.

Plymouth Sexual Violence Counselling

We support people who have been affected by sexual violence, by providing short-term therapy and counselling. This service is currently available to people who live in the Plymouth area.

Counselling is an opportunity to talk about what brought you to First Light, in a safe place without fear of judgement.
Our counsellors understand the impact and effects of sexual violence and trauma, and can help you cope with the negative feelings that accompany this.

Counselling is a process that helps you understand why you feel the way you do. It can help you to begin to feel resourceful again and to move forward with your life. As you gain strength and confidence it may provide an opportunity to focus on new, realistic goals.

All our counsellors are members of either BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) and/or UKCP (UK Council of Psychotherapists).
You’re not alone. We’re here to help you find a brighter future, free from abuse.
Call us on 03458 12 12 12.
You can digitally view or download our leaflets in various languages here, or Easy Read here.
I have come a long way in six weeks with your help and support. Me and my son have been with First Light over a year now. Not only have you worked wonders with S, I am extremely grateful for my counselling. This has helped me to remember it truly isn’t my fault.”

Opening times and location

Our sexual violence therapy and counselling service is available Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm.
It’s free of charge and accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality or ability. If you have experienced sexual violence, including incidents in your childhood.

You’ll find the services at Cattedown Primary Care Centre, 8 Cattedown Road, Plymouth, PL4 0BZ.

Supporting children and young people

We also offer talking therapy for children between 11 – 18 years old to help start the recovery process.


What is the referral criteria for adults?

Our referral criteria is set by our commissioners and we offer short term therapy within this.

Our main criteria for assessment in Plymouth is that you must be aged 18+ and have experienced sexual violence in your life, including incidents in childhood, however this is for assessment only. There are other criteria which we may need to take into consideration when you are being assessed to ensure the service we offer is suitable for you. These criteria may include any secondary mental health conditions you are suffering from and if you are able to attend regularly, amongst others.

You’ll also be able to access therapy if you’ve already used the Independent Sexual Violence Advisory (ISVA) Independent Sexual Violence Advisory (ISVA) Service. The ISVA service is only available to people who have reported to the police, or are looking for advice on how to report to the police, or provide anonymous intelligence.

What can I expect?

Initially, you’ll be offered an assessment, which will help us decide if counselling is the right service for you. At this assessment you’ll be asked to sign an agreement which will include details of our cancellation and confidentiality policies.

After your assessment, we’ll write to you to confirm whether or not you’ve been accepted for counselling and you’ll be placed on a waiting list until a counsellor becomes available.

We will contact you to arrange a suitable appointment time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to be exact about how long you may have to wait as it depends on a number of factors. We’ll explain more about this during your assessment.

How long does it take?

You’ll be offered nine sessions. Each session will last no longer than an hour. During this time, you and the counsellor will discuss how best to use the time you spend in counselling.

How much does it cost?

This is a free service for clients who meet our criteria and would benefit from it, however we do welcome donations.

What geographical area do you cover?

We will generally assess anyone who lives in the Plymouth City area . If you’re outside of this geographical area you can find a list of accredited therapists on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website at

If you live in Devon and are working with one of our ISVA’s we’ll also be able to offer you some therapeutic support.

How will I know that what you offer is best for me?

The best thing to do is to give it a try. We offer therapy provided by highly qualified, trained and experienced specialist counsellors who work in an integrative way, and will respond to your individual needs and circumstances.

Can I bring someone with me for support?

You can bring someone with you, however we ask you to attend the counselling session on your own. Your companion can wait in the reception area for you.

Will what I say be shared with anyone?

The information you give is important to us and will remain confidential. Exceptions to this may occur if you tell us at any time that you know of a vulnerable adult or a child that is at risk of significant harm, or if you are a risk to yourself or others. We have a written confidentiality policy which we’ll explained to you in detail at your first appointment.

More information

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support

Safer Futures provides individuals with advice and support to be safe and to recover from the effects of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Devon and Cornwall Sexual Violence Advisor service

They’ll be with you every step of the way.
The first point of contact if you’ve experienced recent rape and serious sexual assault in Wiltshire.