My support from Basis Yorkshire
Throughout my journey overcoming CSE, Basis has stood out to me as my best source of support. From when I first started my sessions to nearly four years on, I have felt cared for and listened to. Early on after my experience of CSE, I received support from multiple places. One of which was unfortunately very judgemental and unprofessional – and in fact, victim blaming. I have also had an amazing support network of family and friends which I know that I am lucky to have.
For anybody who is experiencing CSE, please know that you can get away from the situation. It is not your fault and you are not going to get in any trouble for what has been done to you. This was a huge fear of mine, the perpetrator who abused me led me to think that if anyone found out it would be me who was punished, of course, once people found out, it was the opposite. I understand how difficult it can be to use your voice to tell people, and sometimes you may feel embarrassed, to overcome this you could write everything down and then show it to somebody that you trust, who will then support you with this. If you are embarrassed, or are unable to tell your family, you could approach a teacher at school that you trust, or the pastoral support team. Somebody will be able to help you. If you think you are at risk, and need support you can also call Basis on 0113 0243 0036 or leave a message on the website – you will be listened to.
One of the great things about Basis is Lionesses – this is a group for girls and young women, once they have completed their one-to-one support. Within the group, we do lots of activities to help young people to move on in a positive way. One of our biggest yearly achievements is our CSE campaign in March, this is to raise awareness of CSE and each year we do this in different ways. Before the pandemic we enjoyed days out together such as bowling, escape rooms and a trip to Flamingo Land! The group is all about connecting with other survivors and having fun in a safe and caring environment.