What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse can be defined as sexual contact or activity which has not been consented to. It might include unwanted touching, threats of sexual violence, flashing or being forced to look at pornographic material.

What is counselling?

The counsellors at MRC are trained to listen carefully to women who have been affected by sexual violence, irrespective of when this violence happened. The counsellors will listen in a respectful and non-judgmental way, enabling you to explore your feelings at your own pace, and in your own time.

The relationship between the client and counsellor is based on confidentiality (except in certain circumstances where breaches have to be made) and trust. We aim to provide a supportive environment where you will not be judged or put under pressure to talk about anything that you do not want to.

What kind of counselling is offered at Manchester Rape Crisis?

The counsellors at MRC are all experienced in listening to women affected by sexual violence, and they are either qualified counsellors or counsellors in their final year of training. Generally speaking, all the counsellors work within a framework of respect, non-judgment and a positive regard towards the individual irrespective of what you might say, and the counsellor aims to help you take more control of your life. However, each counsellor will have their own approach to counselling. Your counsellor will explain to you her particular way of working before you start a course of counselling.

How many sessions of counselling will I need, and how long will they last?

At MRC we offer 12 initial weekly sessions, each session lasting between 50 minutes and 1 hour. After 12 sessions you may feel that you would benefit from a longer-term counselling relationship and wish to continue. We can then offer a maximum of 26 weeks of counselling.

How much does counselling cost at Manchester Rape Crisis?

Counselling at MRC is free. However, as we are a charity, we encourage clients to make a regular contribution towards their counselling. This could be from £1 up to £30.

When is counselling available?

Counselling is generally available during office hours from Monday to Friday. Evening appointments are also available.

What do I do if I feel the counselling is not working?

Sometimes you may be at a point in your life where you do no feel ready to fully engage in counselling and the emotional challenges it may bring. Whilst we would always offer you an alternative counsellor, if you feel that your relationship is not working, it may be of benefit to you and your counsellor if you voice your concerns with your current counsellor. This may enable you to resolve your difficulties and find a way forward.

How do I access counselling at MRC?

You can access counselling by ringing the office on 0161 273 4591 or the helpline 0161 273 4500. We will then arrange for you to come in for an assessment. This is an opportunity for you to talk in more detail about why you are seeking counselling, and for us to will explain the counselling services we offer and answer any queries you may have.

How old do I have to be to use MRC’s counselling service?

You have to be 18 to access counselling at MRC. If you are under 18 you can still ring our helpline on 0161 273 4500; we will be able to tell you about other services which may be available to you.

What is the Manchester Rape Crisis helpline?

The helpline is a confidential service, staffed mainly by volunteers, which offers advice, information and support to women who have experienced rape or sexual abuse. You can also ring the helpline for help and advice if you are supporting a friend or family member who has been raped or sexually abused. The helpline volunteers have a broad knowledge of services available to survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and may also be able to direct you to other organisations that can help you.

When can I call the helpline?

The helpline is open from 10 – 4pm, Monday to Friday, and from 6 – 9pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

I have been trying to ring the helpline and there is no reply. What should I do?
Our helpline is staffed mainly by volunteers, and there may not always be someone to answer your call. Please keep trying. If you feel comfortable, you can leave a message, and someone will ring you back as soon as possible.

How else can Manchester Rape Crisis help me?

MRC also offers informal support and advocacy to women who have experienced rape or sexual abuse. We may also be able to signpost you on to other organisations that can help you.