CARA provides one-to-one counselling for adults of all genders who are victims and survivors of any type of sexual violence, either recently or in the past. We can also offer counselling for people who are supporting a victim or survivor, including partners, parents and other family members. Our team of specialist sexual violence practitioners provide weekly sessions, usually for a period of 6-20 weeks.
Since March 2020, almost all our counselling has been provided remotely - by telephone or video link. We hope to be able to increase the number of face-to-face sessions we offer from May 2021.
Counselling provides a space where you can explore your feelings around your experience of sexual violence or child sexual abuse. Your counsellor will never force you to talk about anything you are not ready to, and you and your counsellor will review whether you feel the counselling is meeting your needs on a regular basis. Although you may not always find your sessions easy or comfortable, deciding to have specialist sexual violence counselling can be a very powerful and life-affirming choice, providing an opportunity to explore and accept your past experiences and to move forward positively with your life.
CARA can provide counselling from women-only spaces. If you would like to receive counselling in a women-only enviroment, please let us know. Most of our counsellors are women, but a male counsellor can be provided on request.
“It’s the first time I have had someone that listens to me and understands how I am feeling.”
“Fantastic support. I no longer blame myself for what happened.”
“I’ve been depressed for around 18 years. Being heard has given me relief. I feel like I can now live my life. I’m in control.”
“It’s made me realise I’m not worthless or dirty/cheap or an item. I’m worth the same as everyone else.”
CARA provides a women-only social group for victims and survivors of sexual violence in Colchester.
The social group meets regularly and provides an opportunity to come and enjoy creative and holistic activities, with an emphasis on self-care. If you are interested in our social group please call us on 01206 769795.
“A place where I am not judged.”
“It has taken me a while to realise the truth of ‘there is no pressure ‘and ‘nothing is expected of me’ – the social group is really helping me with this.”
“When I am at home I think of the social group and it brings a smile to my face.”
SELF-REFERRALS FOR COUNSELLING
If you would like to refer yourself for counselling at CARA you can do this through our online self-referral form or you can phone us on
We try to answer calls within office hours. Out of office hours, or if we are unable to answer the phone, calls will go to answerphone.