Below we have provided information for professionals on our service and how to send referrals for your patients. First Step take referrals from professionals for males aged 13 and above who have suffered sexual abuse or rape at any time in their lives.

Historically male victims of sexual abuse or rape have rarely disclosed. We are delighted to say that males feel that society’s views have changed and that they will not be blamed or judged for what happened to them. Today males are becoming more confident in approaching this with professionals that they may come into touch with.

Professionals such as Doctors, Drug and Alcohol Services, Therapists, Counsellors, Prison Officers, Teachers and others who may have a managerial role may be asked to signpost to appropriate support. As many disclosures occur at the times of crisis there is often no indication prior that the individual has suffered sexual abuse so it is important that this disclosure is handled with empathy, without judgement and is mindful of the needs of the individual.


Key to any referral to First Step is the consent of the young/adult male involved. Our experience shows us that clients gain most when they take counselling for themselves, not to please someone else who thinks that is best for them.

First Step receives referrals from many professionals, friends or family of male survivors and we can receive them in many ways. Our aim is to make the referral process both swift but with care and empathy around what is best for the client.

Clients can come alone or bring someone with them for the assessment appointment. In many instances males will bring their support worker as that is often someone they have built trust in. Whatever the client identifies as reducing his anxiety we are happy to accommodate. First Step operates within a discrete environment which is safe, secure and welcoming and has a reception area and purpose designed counselling rooms.

Having the consent of the potential client you can make a referral in any number of ways and these will depend on the individual client and your professional role.

We are happy to take a referral over the phone (office – 0116 254 8535 or mobile – 07581 568 14). We would require the name of the client and with his permission his contact number so that we can phone him to arrange an appointment. You could ring whilst the client is with you and then ask him if he would like to speak directly with us whilst you are there, a choice they often feel more comfortable with.

You can also give the client our number and ask him to contact us direct – this can be a text requesting a call back or a direct phone call.

You can also refer a client to us by using our downloadable referral form.

Download: Referral Form 

Having disclosed to someone and then be referred on again can often add to the stress so please use whatever method you think is most appropriate. At the end of the day we just want to ensure a smooth, swift referral which does not add any additional pressure to the client.

First Step services

All clients will be offered an assessment within a week and an offer of support will be offered within a month of assessment.

Ultimately our main service delivery is counselling and all new clients will be offered a contract for 6 months counselling initially. This can be extended should there be a need to continue after this period. It might be useful for you to know that all counselling is offered weekly, same counsellor, same day, same time and that we adhere to strict guidelines, data protection, confidentiality and within the BACP ethical guidelines.

In addition to counselling and emotional support we will work with clients to further their additional needs which may be of a more practical nature. We have strong referral pathways with other agencies and again this would be undertaken with the full consent of the client at all times.

In order to maintain confidentiality of the client we will not be back in touch with yourselves but if you wish to know that the client has taken up the services of First Step then please let us know.


Over the past 4 years we have been delighted to have been asked to undertake awareness training sessions at local agencies and support services.

We have delivered sessions to staff in supported accommodation, Probation offices and to student Social Workers.

For the past 3 years one of our longest serving counsellors has delivered a session for the Sexual Health Module at the De Montfort University where his presentation has been extremely well received from student health visitors and nurses.

Our awareness raising sessions will talk about the myths and stigma attached to the subject of the abuse of males, share some of the presenting issues, talk about handling a disclosure and the environment and processes we have developed and the services we offer. Our sessions provide the ‘real picture’ of our experience and are not built around data or research. We hope that what you take away is the confidence to handle a disclosure and deal with signposting to us. We also have the opportunity of hearing from a male survivor who has completed his journey to recovery so that you can hear first-hand about the barriers to accessing support and what a difference support can make to that individual.

“Thank you for a very interesting and informative session”

“Past stories of clients and examples, tips on how to listen and engage with clients was so useful. Made me think about how I would respond to a disclosure of abuse”

“Great information about the impact of abuse on a male, made me think about all the barriers and why males keep it to themselves”

“Made me understand some of the behaviour that some of the residents we support present with. Really powerful hearing about how having somewhere safe can make such a difference to people”

If you would like to arrange a session for you and your colleagues please contact us directly or email us:  We will be able to deliver a session around your needs.