Frequently asked questions:
How can I get in touch?
It takes a lot of courage to get in touch with a rape crisis centre to ask for support, so we try to make this as easy as possible. You can call us directly on 01786 439244 or over email on email@example.com All workers who answer the phone or respond to emails have been trained in supporting survivors of sexual violence. If it feels like too much to call yourself, a worker of friend/family member can call to make an appointment on your behalf. We will have to check with anyone who calls on your behalf that they have your permission to do so.
I experienced sexual violence a long time ago, can I still get support?
Our service is open to people who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives. Sometimes it can take time to be able to talk about what happened, or even to recognise that what you experienced was abuse. We are here for you whether you experienced sexual violence a few days ago, or many decades ago.
Will I have to go into detail about what happened to me?
We have no expectation that you will go into any detail about what you have experienced. We have a person-centred approach that is focused on supporting you with the impact that sexual violence has had on your life. You may find it helpful to talk about what happened, or that may feel like it would cause you additional trauma: we will do whatever is right for you.
I’m really worried about seeing someone face to face, is there any other way I can access support?
If you don’t feel able to come into the centre, we can also support you over the phone or over email. Please get in touch for more information on this part of our service.
How do I get to the centre?
We are a short walk away from Stirling train and bus stations. There is on street parking available on Millar Place. We can provide travel expenses for survivors coming in for support.
How long will I wait for support?
When you first contact our service, we will arrange for you to come in for an initial appointment to find out more about our service. We aim to offer you an appointment within two weeks. If you decide that we offer is right for you, we will put you on a waiting list to be picked up by a support worker. The length of our waiting list varies and this is something we will discuss with you during your initial appointment. We acknowledge that it takes a lot of courage to get in touch with us and it can then be difficult to be placed on a waiting list, so for this reason we operate a weekly drop in that you can use as often as you like. You will be given more information about this at your initial appointment.
How long will I get support for?
We will support survivors for up to 20 sessions. Initially we recommend that you see your support worker once a week however you made decide to reduce this as your support continues, seeing your worker once a fortnight or monthly. This is something you can discuss with your worker.
What is the National Helpline?
The National Helpline is run by Rape Crisis Scotland and is part of a separate service providing support to survivors of sexual violence who are in crisis. You can access this support when you are waiting for support from us, and to top up the support you are receiving.
I made an appointment a while ago and didn’t come in. I feel embarrassed about missing my appointment, can I come back?
We understand that sometimes the thought of coming in for support can be overwhelming, and we want to provide support when the time is right for you. You are more than welcome to come back for support if you feel that you are now able to do so.
How old do I need to be to get support?
We support survivors aged 13 and over. Sometimes young people can be concerned that we will want to speak to their parents, or share information without their permission. Young people are welcome to contact our service independently, and the only time we would have to do this is if we think you are currently in any danger and we would try to discuss this with you first, and involve you as much as possible.
Is what I say confidential?
Everything you say at FVRCC is confidential, unless you give us information that indicates that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm, or you tell us that you have taken steps to end your life. Information will be shared between workers in the centre. This is to ensure that staff can be well supervised and supported. When a person contacts our service they are given a code number which is entered onto our secure and anonymous database, this is where we record information related to your support. Your contact details are kept securely elsewhere, preventing you from being identified from your support records. You can request access to this file at any time.
Do you support men?
Our support service is open to survivors of all genders. We offer women only space to survivors who feel uncomfortable around men, and we will ask you about this at your initial appointment.
Can you help me report what happened to the police and go to court?
Our advocacy worker is there to help you navigate all aspects of the criminal justice system, including supporting you to make statements to the police and attending court with you. This service is open to anyone regardless of how long ago you experienced sexual violence. We will never put any pressure on you to go to the police: that is your decision to make and our advocacy workers will work with you to make the right decision for you.
Access and Inclusion
Can I access the service in a wheelchair/ with a mobility impairment?
Unfortunately, our support space is not currently wheelchair accessible. While we are actively working towards increasing access, at the moment we are able to offer you support at nearby accessible venues. Please contact us to discuss this. We can fund taxis for survivors who otherwise would not be able to get to us for support. There are two steps to gain access to our building, and there is one support room on the ground floor however the toilet is up a flight of stairs. Free on street parking is readily available on Millar Place.
How do I access support as a D/deaf person?
We can provide BSL interpreters for BSL speakers. D/deaf or hard of hearing survivors can contact the service by email and our workers are also happy to take calls through text relay services. If you prefer, deaf access to support is also available through Rape Crisis Scotland who can then make a referral to our services. BSL information on sexual violence is available here.
My friend/family member needs support from your service but she does not speak English
We can arrange interpreters for survivors who do not speak English. Information about sexual violence in other languages is available here.
Can I access support if I have learning difficulties?
You absolutely can, and we would encourage you to have a chat with your support worker about how we can best meet your needs. Many survivors with learning difficulties can be really worried that if they come to speak to us, we will tell other workers in your life what has happened to you and that you will lose all control. You have the right to a confidential service, which means that we don’t tell anyone that you are coming here or what you have said unless you give us information that makes us think that you are currently in any danger. For more information on sexual violence experienced by adults with learning difficulties take a look at our Easy Read Booklet.
Can I access support if I am lesbian, gay or bisexual?
All FVRCC support workers are trained in providing support to LGBT people, and we are aware that LGBT people can face additional barriers to accessing support including fear of discrimination. We are committed to providing a safe space for you.
Does FVRCC support transgender people?
At FVRCC we acknowledge that trans people can experience disproportionate rates of sexual violence and may feel unable to access sexual violence support services in the past because of fear of discrimination. However our service is here to support you and all of our staff and volunteers have received training in issues related to gender identity. Our service is open to all survivors of sexual violence regardless of their gender.
What if I can’t afford to get support?
All of our support services are free. We are also able to refund reasonable travel expenses to get to the centre, and you can contact us to discuss this.
Other Access Issues
If you have any access issues that we haven’t addressed here, please call or email us and we will try to meet your needs as best as possible.