‘It’s good to be on the way,
It’s good to try to get somewhere,
It’s good to be a woman.’

These are the last lines of a poem by Choman Hardi, a refugee from Kurdistan, Iraq. We used these words as an uplifting starting point as we learnt about the many barriers faced by asylum seeking and refugee women survivors of sexual violence, the first of a series of Rape Crisis training modules we are now able to offer in Chester. This module gave us all a chance to reflect on the ways in which CSASS can make sure it assists everyone, including the most vulnerable.

And we’ve had further time to reflect on our own practices and outlook at a recent counsellors’ meeting where Barbara, one of our trustees, gave a great presentation about reflexivity, and where Elisha, one of our volunteer counsellors, talked to us about her MSc dissertation. Elisha’s topic, ‘The Experiences and Perceptions of Marriage for Young British Sikh Women’, was fascinating, innovative and informative, really challenging us all to reflect on our own attitudes and decision-making processes.

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