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Help guide

Support for Families, Friends, and Partners of Perpetrators

Someone I know and/or trust has been accused or convicted of committing a sexual offence.

If someone you know, or even someone you are close to, has been accused or convicted of committing rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, abuse, or any other sexually harmful or predatory behaviour, it can come as a big shock, and it may be difficult to process how to respond.

It is normal to feel confused, angry, upset, disappointed, anxious, numb, and a whole range of other emotions. Reactions will be personal and unique to each individual.

You may be asking yourself some difficult questions, or even experiencing self-blame.

No one wants to think that a friend, loved one, or trusted individual would cause harm in this way, and so facing the reality, which may be far removed from the person you know, can be very painful.


Please know you are not alone in this. We have pulled together some resources that may help you at this time.

  • This guide from Families Outside provides information and emotional support for families of people convicted of a sexual offence and may be a helpful place to start.
  • Sussex Prisoners’ Families offers one-on-one support, support groups, and informative resources to those with a family member in the prison system. This includes tailored support and information for children and young people.
  • Stop It Now is a child protection charity, working to prevent child sexual abuse. They help people who are concerned about their own online behaviour, parents and families concerned about their child’s safety, and partners, friends, and families of people they suspect may be engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour online.
  • Acts Fast is a charity supporting families impacted by child sexual abuse, sexual assault and indecent images of children. They offer one-on-one ‘trauma support’, and counselling, and run a peer-led support group.
  • Partners of Prisoners aims to offer practical and emotional support to families with a loved one in custody.
  • Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) is an organisation dedicated to supporting those with a family member in the prison system. They have a helpline and a range of resources on their website, including a comprehensive list of helpful organisations.
  • Samaritans is a helpline service, email service, and online chat service available for anyone who needs to talk to someone for support. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Counselling & Therapy Services

  • Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service offers therapeutic services through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service (self-referral can be made through the website).
  • Psychology Sussex offers a range of therapeutic services (fees chargeable) plus lower cost psychological therapies with trainee practitioners.
  • As You Are Centre provides counselling and group support sessions for adults and children (located in Southwick). Fees are on a sliding scale of £8-£35.
  • New Road Psychotherapy Centre offers counselling with a range of therapists, including lower-cost spaces (£22) with trainees/therapists working towards accreditation.
  • The Rock Clinic offers a range of psychological therapies (fees chargeable), including some lower-cost counselling. Rock East is in East Brighton and Rock West is in West Brighton/Hove.
  • UOK Brighton & Hove provides mental health and wellbeing support in Brighton and Hove.
  • Brighton Therapy Centre provides 1-2-1 counselling. Fees operate on a sliding scale from £15 to £50 per session.
  • Sussex Community Counselling provides 1-2-1 counselling up to 12 sessions on zoom, phone or in person in different East Sussex locations. Sliding scale based on income.

The following directories can be used to find a private therapist: