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First Step Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland
Supporting male survivors of sexual abuse and rape (aged 13+), and their loved ones


We offer specialist counselling for boys and young men aged 13-18 years who have experienced sexual abuse or other forms of sexual violence (e.g. rape, sexual assault or sexual exploitation). Experiences like this can leave you feeling angry, confused, disconnected, ashamed or mixed up. Some young people might use alcohol, drugs or relationships as a way of distracting themselves from difficult feelings – or as an attempt to feel nothing at all. Some may struggle to talk about what has happened. Some may worry about what it means for their future. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to feel after sexual abuse. However you feel is understandable. You don’t need to go through it alone.

Meeting us for an initial appointment

When you, or someone who is supporting you (e.g. a parent, carer, social worker or CAMHS practitioner) contacts First Step we will invite you to come in to the office for an initial assessment. This gives us the opportunity to talk with you (and with your parent/carer/supporter if that’s appropriate) and understand a little about what has happened and how we might help.

We’ll need some information (e.g. your GP details and whether you have any medical conditions or disabilities that it’s useful for us to know about). We will ask a little bit about what has brought you to First Step, but we won’t push for details. We know that it can be difficult to talk about these things, especially at first. If you go on to counselling you’ll have the space you need to talk about things at your own pace.

Making a decision

Towards the end of the session we will decide, together, whether counselling is the right option for you at this time. If it is, we will next contact you when a space is available to see a counsellor. If you’d like support but are not, yet, ready for counselling you’ll be offered some emotional support sessions.

Starting counselling or emotional support

We will contact you when there is a counsellor or Support Worker available to meet with you. We don’t keep long waiting lists, so this should be within a few weeks. We will discuss likely waiting times at your assessment, so you know what to expect.

When you start counselling you’ll meet for 1 hour at the same time and in the same place each week. This consistency can be a really important part of building up trust and feeling OK enough to talk. You can use the time to talk about whatever feels important to you to speak about – there is no pressure to talk in detail about what happened to you. It is your time and you can use it in a way that works for you. If that feels a bit overwhelming, remember that your counsellor is experienced in supporting young people with these kinds of issues and will help you through it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Make first contact

    You, or someone who supports you, can contact us by phone, email or via this website.

  • Agree assessment date

    We will see you (in person, or by phone/zoom) for an assessment within 7 days. An assessment is a meeting where we talk about what is going on for you and think about how we can help.

  • Assessment

    At the assessment we’ll need to get some basic information (e.g. contact details, GP details and medical history). We will ask a little about your experiences, but we won’t probe. We will talk about what counselling involves and agree – together with your parent/guardian if appropriate – what the next steps should be.

  • Begin counselling (or support sessions)

    Whether we agree to offer you a counselling or emotional support place, we will next contact you when a space becomes available. We do not have long waiting lists and will be as clear as possible around how long this might take.

  • Additional support

    Whilst you are a client you may find that there are practical barriers that are making it difficult to get the most from counselling. For example, you may struggle to afford the bus fare to your sessions because of some financial hardship. Speak to your counsellor or the First Step team if you want to find out more about how we can support you.

  • Completing counselling

    We offer up to 26 weeks of free counselling. As this approaches your counsellor will take care to review your progress and talk with you about what, if any, support you may need going forwards. This might include accessing a peer support group at First Step, being referred to a partner organisation for a particular support need or thinking about what is available in the community.