The Birchall Trust, part of The Bridgeway Services in Cumbria, have recently been awarded Male Accreditation by the Male Survivors Partnership Quality Standard for services supporting male victims and survivors of sexual violence.
The Birchall Trust offer counselling sessions to males and females of all ages who have experienced sexual abuse/rape in South Cumbria. Counselors help survivors to make sense of their story, answer difficult questions about what has happened to them, help people to come to terms with their situation and heal.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall comments: “As Commissioner, I am absolutely dedicated to putting victims first and that is why I have continued to support and develop services for victims in order to meet their needs.
“This male accreditation standard that has been awarded to The Birchall Trust reinforces all the excellent work being done with victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault in the south of the county.
“The incredible support offered at Birchall Trust, helping people understand what they have been through and work through the impact of this , is tremendous.
“Often men can find it more difficult to come forward and talk about sexual assault which is why it is equally important to achieve quality standards and invest in services that support sexual violence/rape victims for men as well as women. I hope this sends out the message to men who have experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse, recently or in the past, that services exist for them too.
“Coming forward is difficult enough for anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, but to know help is out there, with qualified counsellors ready to help men and women start and rebuild their lives, not allowing their experiences to define the person they are, can only be a good thing.
Birchall Trust comment: “We are absolutely delighted to have recently received our certificate of accreditation for the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence.
“By pursuing and achieving this accreditation, it demonstrates that we have meet all the standards for quality and we are committed to pursuing excellence for people who have been affected by rape and sexual abuse in South Cumbria.
“Over the past 10 years the number of males contacting us for counselling has increased and hopefully by gaining accreditation it will ensure that we are recognised as a quality service which can help people heal from the effect that rape and sexual abuse can have on an individual.
“I would like to take this time to thank everyone who contributed to helping us gain our quality standards and most importantly to all our amazing clients who have accessed our service since the charity began in 1991.”
Service user from Birchall Trust comments: “I would highly recommend Birchall trust. In my opinion, anyone needing a service of this type, could not have picked a better place. Everyone I have been involved with are so professional and caring at the same time.
“You are made to feel like a normal human being, that might sound odd, but when you have been through what I have, that isn’t something I’ve felt very often in my life. Birchall Trust has helped me to accept and manage to get through my day-to-day life, without blaming myself for what happened. It has been life changing.”