OSARCC is committed to listening, believing and helping women in crisis. They run a free helpline for women who have been raped or assaulted, as well as providing face-to-face support groups and advocacy services to help with the recovery process. The service is open to any woman, regardless of race, religion, sexuality, disability or age. OSARCC also recognises that being there for a survivor can feel isolating, so is available to support counsellors, parents, partners or friends of survivors, of any gender.
The centre aids over 300 women and girls every year. OSARCC’s support groups help them process feelings of guilt, shame and lack of self-confidence. They gain strength by sharing their thoughts and experiences with a group of resilient, inspiring women. Survivors report feeling less alone and more understood, and having their experiences validated by the process of counselling and building friendships. As one survivor comments: “I feel more ‘normal’, and it has been hugely healing to feel accepted by other women. I have acquired a sense of self that is not contaminated by abuse.”
Since 2000, OCF has awarded over £24,000 in ten separate grants to OSARCC to meet various training and infrastructure costs, allowing them to carry out their important work. Donor Jane Mactaggart has been a longstanding supporter via her OCF named fund, and the charity has recently received a large strategic gift from OCF’s Step Change Fund.
We know that there is a rich seam of individuals and groups in Oxfordshire who are proactively working to address those issues that affect our mental and physical wellbeing. Just as we have done throughout our history, we need to actively promote solutions coming from the grassroots.