Who is the STOP’s Adult Service for?
STOP’s Adult Service is for people who want to address their sexually abusive behaviour.
Information for clients
If you are doing/thinking/feeling some of the following:
- I am doing/thinking/feeling some sexual behaviour that sounds weird to me but I am scared that if I check it out I might get into trouble
- I know I’m doing some sexual behaviour that is wrong and I want to stop, but don’t know how
- I am doing some sexual behaviour that is not okay, I don’t want to stop, but I’ll be in trouble if anyone finds out
- I am doing some sexual behaviour that feels fine for me but others think is bad/ illegal/ disturbing – I want them off my back.
- I did some sexual behaviour a long time ago and I am not sure who I can talk to about it now without getting into trouble
THEN STOP’S ADULT SERVICES MAY BE ABLE TO HELP.
Information for Family Members/Significant others
The shock of finding out. Most family members /significant others experience a multitude of emotions when they find out that a member of their family has sexually abused and is attending STOP’s Adult Service. Some of the most common reactions are shock, anger, fear, disbelief, guilt, disgust, shame, hurt, confusion and doubt.
This grieving process is acknowledged and individual reunions address this in order to assist the family member to cope with the protection issues the man presents.
Family members/significant others may start asking all kinds of questions:
- “How could they do such a thing?”
- “Why wasn’t I told?”
- “Am I the only person this has happened to?”
- “How could it happen without my knowing?”
- “How could this happen in my family?”
It’s not your fault
Sometimes family members/significant others may start blaming themselves for not knowing what was happening. It is really important to remember that you are not responsible. The person is responsible for their actions.
While you are still trying to come to terms with what has happened, you may find you have some very mixed feelings about your family members. On top of the shock and guilt you may feel betrayed and confused. You may try to search for explanations as to how the abuse could have happened. Some family members may recall their own experiences of having been sexually abused.
Family members/significant others frequently feel like they too are victims of the abuse (as well as the abused person). They can find themselves caught up in a chain of events and reactions over which they feel they have no control.
Often family members/significant others become isolated from each other as well as outside friends and relatives as a means of surviving the distress and shame that is frequently felt. Sometimes people are afraid to talk with others for fear of being judged and blamed. Often family members want someone supportive to talk to. This is where STOP can help.
STOP recognises the impact on family members/significant others of having a member of their family who has sexually abused. For these reasons STOP has clinical staff available who offer support, information and counselling.
Who can make a referral?
We accept referrals from Social Workers, Probation Officers, Doctors, Psychologists, Church organisations, Internal Affairs, Police, and any other professional who has knowledge of the problem.
We are happy to talk to you if you are considering a referral, seeking clarification, literature references in this field or anything that would be useful in your decision-making. You can call the Team Leader, Elizabeth Scott on 03 339 4567.