Psychological counselling is one of the key services provided to survivors. As a result of the incidents of violence they experienced, survivors are almost always psychologically suffering when they arrive at AWSAD and exhibit varying degrees and forms of trauma. Often survivors are suicidal; have strong aversion to their babies born out of a traumatic sexual experience and are afraid of pursuing legal cases against their perpetrators. AWSAD’s trained psychological counsellors respond to each survivor’s unique needs and teach them positive ways of coping with their stresses.
They gradually work with them toward improved self-esteem, self-confidence and the ability to approach their lives positively. They encourage them to bring their perpetrator to justice, and to testify confidently, which is important as the only evidence in their cases is sometimes their testimony.
Group and individual counselling sessions are held weekly depending on consent from the resident. Special counselling sessions are held for children. Survivors are also able to speak with a counsellor whenever they wish to. Counsellors keep records of their sessions with clients in the form of notes which are kept confidentially. Where clients are suffering from extreme forms of psychological instability, AWSAD helps them access psychiatric treatment at specialist hospitals.