Mental health support for survivors of sexual violence

Published on 22.04.21

Content: this is a story about the work of Rape Crisis Grampian, an organisation that supports survivors of sexual violence.  Please take care, don’t feel like you need to read this one if it might be triggering, and if you are looking for support – please visit or the equivalent in your country.

Thanks to your donations and support, RCG received a small grant from Tiny Changes in 2020. This is their story.

Rape Crisis Grampian

is a specialist support service for survivors of sexual violence in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. RCG offers free and confidential support to anyone over the age of 13 years who has experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives.  They use a survivor-centred, therapeutic approach, offering support and information to family and friends of survivors.

As part of a national network of 17 crisis centres, coordinated by national office Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS), RCG also carries out prevention work on consent, gender equality and healthy relationships in schools, Uni, colleges and other youth settings. RCG offers independent advocacy support for survivors who are engaged in or considering the criminal justice process or need support when talking to other agencies about their experiences and their rights.

RCG supports young people with their mental health, which has been impacted by the trauma of sexual violence.

For decades, rape crisis centres have been there for young people.

The pandemic brought new and major challenges to frontline services and survivors of sexual violence worldwide. RCG responded quickly to lockdown and work hard to make sure as many young people as possible have access to the support they need, when they need it.

RCG had to pause their face-to-face service at the beginning of the pandemic, setting up support remotely from staff homes, using video conferencing and telephones to support survivors.

Funding from Tiny Changes helped provide wellness packs, made up of items promoting healing, relaxation and self-care, resources for online group activities and personal alarms to help survivors feel a level of safety.

Survivors described feeling overwhelmed when receiving their wellness box:

“I cried when I opened the box as I never knew anyone cared so much for me.”

- RCG young service user

“I loved the felting [in the box.] I carried on and made the second cactus on my own, after the group had finished.”

- young person in an online RCG group

The funding RCG received from Tiny Changes helped young minds feel better.

The funding from Tiny Changes ensured the success of this project, without which many young people would not have engaged as they did throughout the pandemic and, ultimately, their mental health would have suffered as a result. They (young survivors) gained self-care skills that many continue to use in their day-to-day lives, having gained healthy coping mechanisms.

“You gave us hope as a team and, most of all, your support enabled survivors to engage with us when otherwise, there was a real potential for us to lose contact with the young people we support.  You helped us show them how valued they are.”

- Rape Crisis Grampian

What's next

For survivors of sexual violence, healing can be a long and challenging journey, and those at RCG are doing vital work to provide them with support and advocacy. At Tiny Changes, we are delighted to work alongside Rape Crisis Grampian to support the minds and health of young people, during this difficult time and into the future.

If you’d like to find out more about Rape Crisis Grampian and the work that they do, head on over to their website here

To help young minds feel better, and fund more projects like this one click here to donate to Tiny Changes.

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