Talking Therapies: Overcoming sexual violence

Sexual violence can affect anyone. Most victims of sexual violence struggle to talk about it.

Our Chief Executive, Professor Sarah Niblock, asks specialist Erene Hadjiioannou about working with sexual trauma victims and discusses how psychotherapeutic counselling helps survivors of sexual assault.

Erene also highlights unusual ways victims can be affected by sexual violence, including how unexplained body pain can be caused by a past mental trauma. She says, ‘[Sexual assault creates] body memories, as well as memories in the mind.  And in my experience …a survivor’s aches and pains or tensions, may be physical manifestations of the assault. The original incident coming to life in the present, rather than being left in the past.’

This podcast will cover adult themes that some listeners may find distressing. listener discretion is advised.

And in her article in this month’s Psychologies magazine, our Chief Executive Sarah Niblock addresses the complex nature of sexual violence. She writes: ‘It is possible to regain control…and feel empowered in your own body again – and that’s a great starting point to feel empowered in other areas of your life, too.’

'Reclaim your body and your life' article

'Reclaim your body and your life' article

Psychotherapy can offer a safe space to explore your feelings, you can look for an accredited therapist on the UKCP website


You can also find support by contacting:

In an emergency, call: 999

NHS (England), call: 111

NHS Direct (Wales), call: 0845 46 47

The Samaritans 24 hour helpline, call: 116 123

The NHS website where you can find contact details and other information for help after rape or sexual assault 

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