About One In Four

We specialise in supporting survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence and abuse, and particularly survivors of child sexual abuse and trauma.

Welcome to One in Four

We understand how the trauma of sexual abuse and violence, if unsupported, can have long-term impact on mental and physical health and impact on relationships into adulthood, which become your Achilles heel. We recognise the challenges faced by people who have such experiences and who have struggled for their survival.

We provide a safe, restorative environment to work through the effects of sexual abuse and violence and aim to meet the needs of anyone irrespective of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

We focus on the individual person and believe in the importance of empowering survivors to overcome the trauma of abuse and move forward in their lives.

Who we are

Established in 1999, founded by a survivor of clergy abuse, we are a dedicated team of experts and counsellors with over 21 years’ knowledge, experience and expertise specialising in the long-term recovery of adults and children who have a lived experience and survived sexual abuse and violence.

We understand the trauma and long-term effects of sexual violence and child sexual abuse. Some of the professionals who work with us have a lived experience of sexual abuse.

One in Four is active in supporting the post-traumatic recovery of survivors by providing specialist counselling, supporting them through the criminal justice system and in improving the professional and public understanding of how sexual abuse impacts lives through prevention for young people in schools and training and resources for professionals working with survivors.

Why are we needed

It is now widely reported that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of sexual abuse.

Evidence shows as many as one in four adults have experienced some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Only one in eight children come to the attention of the authorities and 85% of all abuse is by someone known to the child.

Childhood sexual abuse is a major emotional and psychological trauma that impacts on an individual’s mental and physical health and social well-being. Sexual abuse is not only about the acts in the past; it sets off an internal process, which continues over many years. It is a crime affecting millions of people that largely remains hidden.

The cost of childhood sexual abuse has resulted in massive health and economic costs, both to survivors and society, but is often unrecorded in clinical or statistical data.

For children, sexual abuse leads to fear, confusion and shame and most become ensnared in a web of deception, secrecy and silence. The trauma sets off a neurological response of fight, flight or freeze that becomes embedded in the child-survivor’s nervous system and is susceptible to retriggering at any time. If untreated the trauma leads to significant and complex problems in adult life including mental health issues, difficulties with relationships, substance abuse, eating disorders, self-harm and suicidal behaviour. Trauma symptoms include flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks and dissociation. For some, sexual abuse is a life sentence making survivors more vulnerable to addictions, risky behaviour, and damaging and violent relationships.

Sexual abuse in childhood remains poorly understood and often undiagnosed in clinical services.

Many survivors’ experiences are dismissed and the links between the presenting symptoms and underlying trauma are overlooked. Trauma symptoms can result in survivors being diagnosed with psychological disorders, with the underlying trauma dismissed.

One in Four’s work demonstrates the importance of processing the trauma of sexual abuse as a central life event, or events. Clients report improvements in mental health, reduction of depression, anxiety and symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), in relationships and relationship choices and coping mechanisms such as disordered eating, substance abuse, self-harm and suicidal behaviour come under control.

One in Four supports all survivors, including many who found a lack of appropriate support in statutory services.

Find out more about our work

Safeguarding

We take safeguarding seriously. Read our safeguarding policy here

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