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


Counselling can be intense and, at times, unsettling. Perhaps you’re in the midst of a crisis and need some support before you can make a decision about entering counselling. Perhaps you need to sort out some practical issues before you’re in a position to commit to the process. That’s OK – it’s important that you make a choice that works for you.

Our Emotional Support Service offers 8-weeks of emotional and practical support for those who are not in a position to benefit from our counselling service. 

How to access Emotional Support

Everyone who contacts us and is eligible for our services (i.e. is a male survivor, aged 13+ and lives within Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland) is offered an initial assessment within 7 days. At this assessment we’ll talk with you about your situation, your needs and what you’d like to get out of accessing our support. We’ll get some practical details too (e.g. GP contact details and your medical history). 

Towards the end of the assessment we’ll talk about whether counselling or Emotional Support Service is the right step for you, at this stage, and agree a plan.

If we agree that Emotional Support is the best next step, you will be contacted when there is a space available. We do our best to be transparent with clients around likely waiting times, and pride ourselves on our short waiting lists.

Download our ‘Making the Most of Your Emotional Support ‘ leaflet

What the Emotional Support Service offers

You will have the opportunity to meet your Support Worker for 8 sessions, at the same time and in the same room each week. At the first meeting they will agree a contract with you that sets out expectations for both parties. Our Support Worker is experienced in supporting males who have experienced sexual violence and will bring a non-judgemental and empathic attitude to your sessions.

What happens in the sessions is based around your situation, needs and wants. Some people may value the opportunity just to chat with someone who is able to really listen to them. Some may find it helpful to learn about other male survivors, reading resources or watching videos to recognise that they are not alone. Some may find it helpful to address any practical issues that they are struggling with (e.g. finding strategies to improve sleep or cope with flashbacks). Some people require signposting and support to access other services (e.g. drug/alcohol services or housing support).

Our Support Worker cannot wave a magic wand, but they will do what they can to support you as you figure out what your next step is.

What happens after 8 weeks

After 8-weeks the Support Worker will talk with you about your next steps. There are 4 different options available.

Enter the counselling service

During your emotional support there will have been a discussion between you and your Support Worker about the option to move to counselling, if that’s appropriate.

Exiting the service

If you no longer need or want our support

Referral to a partner organisation

Our service may not be the best one to meet your needs. If that’s the case we’ll talk with you and do our best to help you access a more suitable service.