It’s hard to believe that we have all been staying at home for nearly eight weeks now.  The world we took for granted seems far behind us now and we face an uncertain future.  At One in Four we have been working remotely and trying very hard to deliver our normal psychotherapy and advocacy services online and by telephone.

Some of our clients are managing quite well but for others the situation is very difficult.  In normal times men and women who have experienced child sexual abuse regularly describe feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, self- hatred and loneliness.  They sometimes struggle with relationships and worry about how they are parenting their children.  Some have thoughts of self-harm.

The self-isolation of Covid-19 has heightened these feelings for many people.  The ordinary routines and frameworks of daily life – work, shopping, meeting friends and family, sport, going to see a film or for a drink – can sometimes help to deal with the painful feelings and to make them bearable.  Now all these props have been taken away and a whole new set of worries have arrived. 

The entire population has to deal with new anxieties - will I keep my job?  will I or family members catch the virus?  how am I going to cope with my cooped up children?  The same is true for Survivors but they are also dealing with the long-term effects of childhood trauma.  For people living with partners where the relationship is not doing well, the stress can be unbearable, with no escape. 

Our clients use their weekly sessions to talk through their situation with their therapist while continuing to work with the original abuse.  They explore personal strategies that might work for them to deal with all the negativity.  They tell us that access to this weekly meeting is absolutely vital for their well-being.

We have also had an increase in the number of people contacting us for the first time.  They are often very distressed and desperate to speak to somebody.  We have a waiting list but really encourage people to contact us and we will do our best to meet them online as soon as possible.

Maeve Lewis

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