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A Day in the Life of an Outreach Counselling Support Worker

When people ask me what I do for a living, and I tell them that I support women who have experienced rape and sexual abuse, they look at me and immediately say “goodness, that must be really hard”. And yes while moments of my day can be emotionally demanding, in truth I consider my job to be a privilege that leaves me feeling inspired and hopeful every single day.

As the Outreach Worker for WRASAC, I start my day driving to various locations throughout Angus. It is crucial for the well being of the survivors that we meet in a safe and welcoming environment at regular agreed times.

I check in with my office based colleagues and let them know a little about where I am and what my day will hold, this is crucial to my professional well being and I know I can reach out to them when I need support.

I then begin my day seeing up to four women during the course of the day and offering them emotional, practical and therapeutic support. I meet survivors both face to face and sometimes over the telephone if they have restrictions that stop them being able to meet with me in person.

Together we explore issues that I cannot share here, at WRASAC, we hold confidentiality at the heart of our work and of the highest importance. Suffice to say, I see my role as counselor, supportive other, and even just a warm and friendly face which provides a safe space to open up and experience non-judgmental, unconditional care and love.

Throughout my day I witness heartache and tears. But I also witness tremendous courage and resilience. I am honoured to have been part of the survivors’ journey towards healing, to create a holding space to help women move through almost unimaginable trauma to a place where they feel more complete, and far less broken.

Of course, there are tears. But, also there is laughter. There is loss, and there is startling courage. There is connection. And there is love. I witness profound beauty, and unbreakable spirit. The human heart is truly fragile, and its need for love and connection takes us all towards lasting healing.

Lorraine Whittemore

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