The St Mary’s Centre offers a service to children and young people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Our staff are trained to support people of all ages, but we understand that as a young person or teenager you may feel scared, confused and overwhelmed.
You may find it difficult to trust someone enough to get the help you deserve. We can help you.
We want to make sure you are okay and feel able to recover from any physical and emotional impact of the assault.
Our service to young people includes:
A 24 hour advice and information line 061 276 6515
When you first visit Saint Mary’s SARC we will want to make sure you are physically okay and help you deal with the emotional impact of what has happened. You will be treated with dignity and respect throughout.
We will ask you if you want a medical examination by a doctor. You don’t have to have one but a crisis worker will answer any questions you might have and be with you and support you if you decide to go ahead.
You will always be in control of what happens to you. You can stop the examination at any point.
If you do decide to have the medical check up, the doctor will talk to you about emergency contraception to prevent a pregnancy or do a pregnancy test. They will talk to you about what this means. They will also talk to you about health screening for any sexually transmitted infections.
If you wish to have other support for example from one of our Independent Sexual Violence Advisors or our counselling team we can arrange this with you.
You may feel nervous and anxious about speaking to anyone, but it is important to talk about what has happened. There may be a relative or a friend you can confide in and if not, the Centre can offer you the support that you need.
As a young person we will need to inform the hospital child protection team that you have attended. If we feel that your safety is threatened then we may speak to a social worker. We will always discuss this with you and listen to any concerns you may have which we will take seriously.
Child Sexual Exploitation
At Saint Mary’s SARC, we have a young person’s advocate and it is their role to support young people who are at risk of or who experiencing sexual exploitation.
Understanding sexual exploitation can be difficult. Our young person’s advocate can talk to you to help you understand your feelings and experiences. She will make sure you are listened to and she can talk to your school, family and other services so that you are fully supported and feel safe.
Our young person’s advocate also supports young people, particularly if they decide to make a report to the police. She will explain what to expect and keep you informed the whole time. She will also work with other agencies such as education and social care to make sure your needs are met.
If you need need any advise or support just pick up the phone.
The Child Advocate
At the St. Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, children and young people can access the services of a Child Advocate. The role of the Child Advocate is to work specifically with children and their families to ensure they understand what happens at St. Mary’s as well as making sure they access relevant aftercare services following the forensic medical examination.
The Child Advocate will provide on going telephone support to the child and their family. They will work with the Trust’s Child Protection Team to reduce risk of further harm and ensure any child protection issues are addressed. They will also support the victim through any criminal or civil justice proceedings and they will work closely with other agencies to ensure the child’s needs are recognised and addressed through relevant services.
You can meet with the child advocate at the Centre or speak to them on the phone. They may also be able to come to your school or near where you live.
Counselling for children and young people
The St Mary’s Centre has dedicated child counselors who have been specially trained to work with children, young people and their families.
Some people find it useful to be able to talk about how they are feeling with someone they can trust. Sometimes it helps if this person is not their family or friend.
We work with children of all ages and do our best to ensure that children and young people feel at ease when they come for counselling.
We will never ask you to talk about what has happened to you, unless you want to.