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Experiences of the Havens
If you’re still uncertain about coming to the Havens, have a look at the accounts below. They are all from real people who have used services provided by the Havens.
The first is written by someone who was raped in 2005. She has offered her account of her experiences for this website to encourage other victims of sexual violence to take advantage of our services.
"Before I was attacked I had not even heard of the Havens. Much less did I realise how vital the service they provided was going to be to contribute to my own personal recovery as well as to the conviction of my attacker.
In the blurry state of auto-piloted shock I found myself in on that night, the Haven is a memory of calm and of kindness, of professionalism and discretion. This type of attack is so particularly personal - and the immediate aftercare, by necessity, is also of such a nature. But, at my most vulnerable and shaken, accompanied by the police just hours after my attack, the Haven carried out their examinations of me (my injuries as well as tests for STDs etc) in an environment where I felt absolutely safe and unviolated, unpatronised and encouraged.
Repeat appointments are made around your availability. The staff are concerned with both aiding your physical and emotional recovery as well as the development of the investigation (should you wish to proceed with the police). Counselling is also offered.
It is with sadness that I found out that around the UK there
are not similar Havens in every area. They are necessary for both
collecting immediate forensic evidence and treatment of injury as
well as the longer-term recovery experience for victims. I truly hope
that the situation will change and that more Havens around the UK
(and the world) will be started up.
The quotes below are from newspaper articles written by women about their experiences of rape and recovery. They explain how going to the Havens helped them.
“The staff treated me with great respect and kindness.
It was never going to be a nice experience, but they made it as bearable
as it could be.”
“The Haven was a place of solace for me. They treated me
like a human being who deserved respect, as did the police, and that
was so important. If I hadn’t got that immediately I would have
gone and never told anybody again what had happened to me. It was
incredibly important that I went through the whole process. They definitely
set me on the path to recovery.”