Sexual abuse is one of the most traumatic and emotionally scarring events that a person can experience. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, one of the ways to help you recover is by joining support groups. Here’s how you can find a support group for survivors of sexual abuse.
Yellow Pages. Start by looking at the phonebook and the Yellow Pages. Usually, support groups can be found in the Social and Human Services listings. Sometimes, the sexual abuse support groups are also listed in the Women’s services, since most victims of sexual abuse are women. List down the support groups that are present in the Yellow Pages and contact them for a meeting and for a brief orientation on how the support group works.
Crisis centers and health centers. You can also check out the local crisis centers in your community. These crisis centers have therapists and counselors working for a wide variety of crisis, ranging from victims of calamities, victims of broken families, and victims of sexual abuse.
Counselors and therapists. A lot of people who experience sexual abuse will go to counselors and therapists. If you already have a therapists or counselor, you can ask them about group sessions and support groups. The counselor will either set up a group meeting for other victims of sexual abuse, or will recommend you to other groups that are already established. Usually, the counselor will understand the benefits of group therapy, and may completely transfer you to the therapist in charge of the support group. It is, however, still up to you if you want to maintain sessions with your individual counselor.
Church. There are also support groups that are established by the church. Ask your priest about the services that the church provides to victims of sexual abuse. If there are no support groups yet, you can ask the priest to help establish one. Even if there are no support groups, you can still get individual counseling and guidance sessions with your priest or other members of the church. Sometimes, the church will also ask other members who work in therapy to do some volunteer work for the other members of the church, so that you can get the service free of charge.
Universities. The universities and colleges are one of the hotspots for date rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Because of this, most universities establish support groups for students who have become victims of sexual abuse. Usually, the sexual abuse support group is connected to the Women’s Studies and Women Services Center in the University.
Online. Finally, you should also consider joining an online support group. Online support groups are less intrusive since you can do this from the privacy of your own home. There are many online support groups, and all you need to do is to choose which group you are comfortable with. There are some that allow video conferencing while there are others that conduct their sessions through chat clients.
You do not need to go through the trauma of sexual abuse alone. With these steps, you should be able to find a support group to help you.