First Step Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland
Supporting male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, and their loved ones


Your Journey With Us

If you are reading this now then you’ve had the courage to take the first difficult step to seeking help.

What happened to you as a child or latterly as an adult may have had a deep and possibly devastating effect. As an adult, you may have experienced anxiety, anger, low moods and feelings of guilt and shame.

You may have suffered problems with relationships, difficulty trusting other people or behaved in ways which put yourself at risk or danger.

ALL ABUSE IS WRONG and it is never the child’s (or young person’s/adult’s) fault.

First Step is here to support you on a journey to recovery, to provide you with a safe space and an environment of hope and encouragement for the future.


What Can I Expect from First Step?

  • You will be treated with respect.
  • You will be believed.
  • You will be treated as an individual.
  • Your needs will influence our service to you.
  • You will be safe.

You can decide how best to make contact. Telephone or text to 07581 568 144 or email to  Whatever works for you, works for us!

When we receive contact from you we won’t be asking you lots of questions, we simply arrange an assessment meeting within a week, face-to-face preferably but by telephone or zoom too.

At the assessment you will be asked to complete a range of contact details, gp details, medical history and you will be given choices. You may prefer to work with a male or a female, your choice will be honoured. You may want an appointment in the evening due to other commitments, your preference will be taken into account. We promote commitment and engagement so making appointment times to suit you help us to provide ongoing support, overcoming barriers such as work or other commitments.

We will ask about some details about your past experience but our job is not to probe you as we do not want to bring things to the fore and then leave you with no support in place following the assessment.

The way we conduct our assessment process, down to every question we ask in it, is based on the feedback of our clients. Nothing is written in stone as we are continually shaping the service delivery at every point to ensure the client is at the heart of all of our work.

The person providing your assessment appointment will discuss with you what they feel would be the most appropriate journey with us. If someone approaches us in crisis or presents signs that they would currently struggle to explore, understand and process their thoughts and feelings, then this would indicate that emotional support would be more suitable. The decision will be reached in partnership with you and there will be a discussion if this is deemed to be the most appropriate service in the first instance.

At assessment it may well be felt that you are ready and able to undertake the counselling journey.

Following assessment the next time you will hear from us will be to offer you a counselling/emotional support place. When you receive this offer it is your responsibility to say whether it is the right time and day. Remember if it is going to be difficult timewise better to say now so that you can fully commit to the work and ensure you remain with the same counsellor throughout your journey.

There will be members of staff on site. Usually for your first session we try to ensure it is the person who assessed you, we know how hard it is to come in and it is important to feel you have an established contact within First Step already.

Some additional options We are committed to equality of access for all, not just for some.

Outreach Support

Outreach Support

If you live outside of the city centre and transport or financial issues would inhibit you from attending our city centre office then we will work with you to find the most suitable solution. We have counsellors who provide services for us in Blaby and Loughborough.
Telephone or Zoom Sessions

Telephone or Zoom Sessions

We now offer sessions via Zoom or the telephone for those who prefer it. If you suffer from severe anxiety and are unable to feel safe travelling to the city centre then when you make contact with us initially ask for a remote interview which could take place over the phone or Zoom. We are committed to equality of access for all, not just for some.

Now Your Journey Begins

Your sessions will be weekly, same time, same counsellor/emotional support worker, same room and you will begin to build confidence and trust in your counsellor within this structured approach.

If you are thinking that you cannot access our service due to working a shift pattern then think again. That will be accommodated and will have been discussed at your assessment appointment. Our role is to support male survivors and we operate very flexibly around individual needs.

One size does not fit all. One size fits one client.

At your first session your counsellor/emotional support worker will ‘contract you’ and you will be required to sign a privacy statement. At all points of your journey you are welcome to seek further information about any of these documents.

Your counsellor will contract you for 26 weeks of counselling.

If you have been offered emotional support then you will be offered 6 sessions and this will be reviewed before we make a decision about whether counselling is suitable for you.

At your first or second appointment you will be asked to complete our PHQ/GAD form which is our outcome measuring tool. This can be completed with your counsellor and will be repeated every 6 weeks. These allows us to measure anxiety, depression, mental wellbeing and self esteem.

This might sound like a lot of paperwork but do not worry. We are funded by a range of partners to provide this free service and collecting your progress data (always anonymised) allows us to inform our reports to funders and it enables your counsellor to see your progression.

Measuring Our Impact

To provide the most impactful and cost effective services for the males we work with First Step is committed to continually evaluating our services and this supports our development and service delivery.

At 12 weeks you will be asked to complete a Progress Survey which provides you with an opportunity to feed back to us on your work with First Step.

At 26 weeks (or at the time you leave the service), you will be asked to complete our Exit Survey.

If you attend for assessment and choose not to engage further then you will be asked to provide feedback to us via our  which hopefully will provide us with information about how we can improve the experience of our clients.

Raising Issues or Concerns

At any point in your journey you are welcome to speak to any member of staff about any issues or concerns. Our team is here to provide you with the best possible service, tailored to your own individual needs. If you feel that any part of that service can be improved, or, you need to voice a concern, then please speak to the staff or email:

Complaints Proceedure

At any point of your journey with First Step you may want to make a complaint. Our Complaints Policy can be provided to you by a member of staff. Please ask if you require this.