SOCIAL SECTOR PROFESSIONALS

Understand the impact of sexual violence trauma, and know how to support survivors who disclose their experiences.

Supporting sexual assault survivors can be difficult and demanding work. Social service providers, including counsellors, social workers and healthcare professionals, may sometimes find it hard to understand why survivors seem resistant, hostile or reluctant to trust them. A survivor may recount their experience to a service provider in an incoherent or inconsistent manner. This does not mean that they are lying to or distrusting of the service provider. Rather, it is the traumatic event that has impacted the way a survivor stores and recalls the memory. Understanding that what may seem “abnormal” can in fact be a normal reaction to trauma.

Being familiar with trauma reactions and symptoms is therefore crucial when it comes to supporting sexual assault survivors. Trauma-informed care helps service providers avoid re-victimisation and better facilitate a survivor’s journey of recovery.

Ready to holistically and sensitively support sexual assault survivors?

Give
  • Donate to our Aim for Zero campaign to support programmes that help educate counsellors, healthcare workers, and other sexual assault first-responders on trauma-informed support. 
  • Share our campaign video with your colleagues and organisations with your own commitment to end sexual violence and ensure greater support for survivors.
  • Spread word of our services and programmes. Our Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC) offers free and specialised services for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, as well as conduct trainings for social sector professionals. Catalyse Consulting runs training programmes for professionals, managers and employers on how to manage harassment in the workplace.
  • Want to be a spokesperson for our next panel or talk? We’re looking for social workers, counsellors or other professionals who work with survivors of sexual violence to share with others about their experiences of providing trauma-informed support. Write to aimforzero@aware.org.sg 
  • Think outside the box! Reach out to us with ideas on how you want to support #AimForZero by writing to aimforzero@aware.org.sg.  
Learn

Supporting Survivors: First-responder training for professionals

Duration: 2 hours
Suitable for: Counsellors, social workers, healthcare professionals or those who come into regular contact with survivors of sexual abuse in their professions

Many professionals grapple with how they can support survivors and what they should say since their actions and words can have a huge impact on the survivor’s recovery. Survivors sometimes lack support crucial for their recovery when they speak to official bodies about their experience. This can result in them internalising their feelings of shame and guilt, though the assault is never their fault.

Through Sexual Assault Care Centre’s interactive training sessions, participants will learn to understand the impact of trauma, complexities of sexual violence, dispel myths, and be an effective first-responder to create a culture of support for sexual assault survivors.

You will learn:

  • Who first responders are
  • Role of a first responder
  • Skills of a Sexual Assault First Responder
  • How to support survivors of sexual assault
  • What are the resources available for survivors

Sexual Assault Awareness Training

Duration: 2 hours

This programme provides an in-depth understanding of what sexual assault is, how it is legally recognised in Singapore and ways to support survivors as a family member, friend or colleague. It covers the following topics:

  • Defining sexual assault (including harassment)
  • Recognising Singapore’s legal framework regarding sexual assault
  • Understanding consent
  • Understanding the impact of trauma on survivors
  • Providing support to survivors of sexual assault
  • Resources available for help

We have provided this training to many civil society organisations, corporates, educational institutions and hotels.

Act
  • Bring the Sexual Assault First Responder training to your workplace. SACC provides workshops for service providers to be better equipped to understand trauma, its impact and ways to better support sexual assault survivors.

  • Spread the word about our services and programmes by putting up SACC posters and collaterals at your centre. SACC offers free and specialised support for survivors of sexual violence. Write to aimforzero@aware.org.sg to request for materials. 

  • Collaborate on cases with SACC and refer your clients for further support. SACC regularly collaborates and manage cases with counsellors, social workers and healthcare professionals. Kindly note that you will need you client’s consent to be referred to us. More info here.
  • Invite our speakers to share more about the Aim For Zero campaign and what individuals, groups and organisations can do to address and prevent sexual violence. Write to us at aimforzero@aware.org.sg

  • Read up on resources specifically created for professionals working in social services that address the needs of sexual assault survivors. Visit this link to find out more.