My name is Sam and I’m an integrative psychotherapist and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual violence. I’m a single mother of two amazing young women and am 100% an activist in the fight against violence against women and girls, oppression, injustice, (in fact anything that is wrong at all) I’m basically a bully’s worst nightmare on caffeine!
I came into Solace’s care after being raped by my next-door neighbour. At the time I knew help was available, but I found it extremely hard to place trust in services as I had worked in charity services before and became tainted by witnessing management politics surrounding money rather than focusing on service user care. I had also engaged with various services personally and was severely failed in my time of need and when I was most vulnerable. I saw that what some services offered outwardly was not always what you got inside the tin so I became quite a brutal realist trusting no one.
As a result of this, I was cautious of Solace thinking will this be the same? Could they really help me? Would they get my extensive trauma experiences? But they did they really did. With their support, empathy, extensive knowledge, consistency, provision of support options coupled with the support provided from the Detective and Sexual Offences Investigative Techniques Officer on my case, and The Havens, and my amazing friends and family, I moved home and made it to the other side.
Solace was able to support by offering and connecting me with amazing alternative therapy services provided by Women and Health in Camden, brilliant workshops such as trauma release exercise (TRE) provided by, giving me excellent and knowledgeable Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) support from assault to post court, an amazing therapist who was just so attuned called Patricia and also the opportunity to have my voice finally heard by allowing me to become a Solace Ambassador, support with recruitment, partake in user involvement groups and volunteer for media interview opportunities.
Looking forward, I have and am still taking the time I need to heal, rest and recover as the journey was an extreme emotional rollercoaster. But in the midst of this I still work therapeutically with clients, with a special focus of providing emotional and empowerment support specifically for women.
The support I received from Solace made me realise at a time when I’d lost all hope: 1. There is life beyond childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and Sexual & Domestic Violence, all of which I have experienced; 2. These events do not define me, as I am so much more; 3. There are a hell of a lot of inspiring, amazing, badass, warrior women out there. From this I have set up a women’s groups amongst my peers, which is such a nourishing outlet and am hoping to branch this idea out and open it up into my therapy arena also.
I am passionate about sharing about my experiences, the good the bad and the ugly, as I am still here standing stronger than ever and that’s because I hold no shame in my stories as the shame was never mine to hold.
No doubt I have become a rare combined Kintsugi and wabi-sabi, piece all in one, but that was my end goal throughout, to become this beautiful renewed human despite all the trauma.