Picture this, a woman, in Lockdown,  holding her mobile, trembling. She is hiding from her abusive partner, the same way she hid from her father when she was a 9 year old child. She sees no way out……….

Ending her life is now an option but first she will try to make contact with One in Four.

This is Paula, she is 29, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and she needs your help.

Lockdown has been difficult for everyone but for a survivor that’s living with the intrusive memories of their abuse, it can cause high levels of distress, anxiety and depression. It can lead to thoughts of death by suicide, and that is why we want to talk to you today.

In the past 10 years 4 people who were on our waiting list took their own lives before we could even meet them.

To ensure this never happens again we have developed a programme called the Rapid Suicide Prevention Programme to provide a much needed safety net for the most vulnerable survivors.

To help really understand what is happening I want to let Paula tell her story….

“When they announced the second lockdown, my heart sank; every part of my body froze. I wasn’t sure if it was worth carrying on. The news was like “a nail in my coffin”.

Days started running into one another, the abuse I suffered in childhood was now seeping into my thoughts constantly, time was standing still but my thoughts were running wild. My anxiety was becoming unbearable….

………I felt trapped. You have to understand , my abuse didn’t shape me into the person I am , it eroded me to the core, and with the Lockdown restrictions, I was losing my very essence.

The structures in life that kept me together, meeting friends, going to work , had disappeared…………..

I couldn’t see any way out.

My partner , Alan had started to drink basically from the first lockdown in March, he hadn’t stopped . He was now drinking every night, often becoming aggressive. I had become really afraid of what he would do.

I had no one to turn to, nowhere to go. Going back to my family home wasn’t an option. That was where the abuse occurred. I swore the day my mum died, just over a year, I would never step inside that house again. She had been the one person who was in my corner.

 I just felt trapped, in these four walls, inside my head, I wanted to end it all. Stop the tears of my nine year old self, that were with me every waking hour.

Ending it all, was now an option, that I was taking time to plan.

In the middle of my darkness, late one night , I finally reached out to  One in Four. Too afraid to call I emailed .

I got a response , and arranged a call . I spoke to one of their therapist . I stayed on the call for what seemed like ages and the darkness , the deep  fear started to lift. My anxiety lowered, and I could breath.

They had a special programme for people like me, people on the edge, thinking about suicide.

I started therapy by Zoom, I looked forward to that hour every week. Where I could be myself. My real self.

The programme didn’t just change my life it saved it. I honestly don’t think I would still be here if I hadn’t of contacted One in Four. “

One in Four will always be there for survivors, no matter how long they need us for. Please be there for us , donate whatever you can today.      

The aim of the Rapid Response Suicide Risk Assessment Programme is to provide  a telephone support service to people on the waiting list until we can offer them an appointment and to fast-track those identified as at risk onto the counselling programme, either on-line or in person.

Last year we met 98 people for the first time and 21 of those had attempted to take their own lives before we met them.  Those deemed to be high were fast-tracked into counselling.  They are all still alive.

One in ten on our waiting list could be suicidal. Your help today  could save the lives of 9 survivors.

If you can send a Christmas donation of  €35 before Friday the 18th of December, it will make a real impact in the life of a survivor- we really are counting on your support today.

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