A support service for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse commended staff for making sure their more than 200 users can continue to receive help.
Many of those assisted by the local charity Survivors in Transition are considered highly vulnerable due to mental health issues and underlying health issues related to childhood trauma.
Staff last week implemented a series of measures to continue offering support at a time when many people are being asked to self-isolate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Managers made the decision last Tuesday to shut down the Fore Street Ipswich support center, which will be operated daily but will not be open to the public.
Anyone with an appointment has been contacted and informed of the postponements.
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COO and co-founder Clare Wilson said staff were working tirelessly to implement plans to work from home.
In a joint message with CEO Fiona Ellis, she said: “We remain proud and humble of the efficiency with which we have been able to implement changes in a vital service in Suffolk.”
By the end of last week, all customers had been screened and contacted as staff were using remote working software.
The charity continues to receive referrals, assess new clients, and further support existing clients.
Anyone affected by childhood sexual abuse is encouraged to continue to contact Survivors in Transition by phone, email or at survivantsintransition.co.uk.
In a message to clients, the charity said, “We understand that this can be a really tough time for you. We are here for you.
The government has said there may be a shift towards emotional and practical support provided remotely by the services due to counseling on social distancing.
The following specialized helplines are available to all victims and witnesses of crime:
• Victim Support operates a free helpline for anyone who has been a victim or witness of a crime on 0808 1689 111, with information also at victimsupport.org.uk.
• The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 0808 2000 247, with information also available at nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
• Women’s Aid is hosting an online chat at chat.womensaid.org.uk Monday to Friday 10am to 12pm.
• Citizens Advice provides support to victims and witnesses who have to appear in court. Self-referrals can be made online.