SAFE: For Victims of Sexual Abuse

If you, or a child or young person you know, has been the victim of sexual abuse, accessing professional help can be an important part of the recovery journey. Our expert team of mental health professionals are here to provide therapeutic support for victims, their families and others impacted by the abuse.

The SAFE (Sexual Abuse Family Engagement) programme provides young people in the Northumbria area with up to twenty sessions of therapeutic support to help them process their trauma and to share actions they can take that will support them in their recovery. The one-to-one sessions are delivered by specialist counsellors trained in a range of therapy techniques. 

In tandem with the therapy, the SAFE team provide home-based support to the family, whether they be parents, carers, siblings, grandparents or other important people in the young person’s life, providing help on how to support and safeguard them during recovery and beyond. This engagement will also offer space for the family to process their own trauma related to the abuse and work together as a unit to overcome its impact.

We have made the requirements for accessing support as broad as possible, with the programme open to any young person over five years old.

Those working with young people who have been the victim of sexual abuse who could benefit from the programme are encouraged to make referrals to the SAFE team, who can support you to complete the referral process. To learn more about the programme and the referral process please contact Katie Graham on [email protected]. Young people and families are welcome to self-refer.

One parent’s experience of accessing professional family support with Children North East:

“My son disclosed that my husband had sexually abused him, at that point I wasn’t scared any more. I went to the police and had him arrested. But I still couldn’t get any help. We do so many positive things as a family now that I couldn’t have done before. I was so down, I just wanted someone to help us.”


If you are in immediate danger as a result of abuse, call 999. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency, you can get immediate support from the NHS Mental Health Helpline on 0800 652 2861. Or, if you would like to speak to someone confidentially, call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: [email protected] for a reply within 24 hours.