Case Study: Kingdom Abuse Survivors

Mon 6 Nov 2023

Kingdom Abuse Survivors Project (KASP) is a Befriending Networks member with more than 25 years of experience in providing services to women and men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Their befriending service is for women and men who are socially isolated and/or lonely due to what they have suffered.

KASP recruits, trains, and matches befrienders to people within Fife, providing them with vital contact on a one-to-one basis, a link to the local community, and a pathway to other local services and support.

Changing relationships

DB was referred to KASP’s befriending service and assessed in the summer of 2021. His mental health had a big influence on how confident he was accessing the community, and he described himself as feeling lonely and isolated. He didn’t feel confident making new friendships and said he had never had a positive relationship where he hadn’t been taken advantage of. He sometimes used alcohol to deal with his mental health and trauma, and smoked, which had an impact on his health.

Soon after his assessment, he was matched with a befriender. They met weekly for a chat and coffee, but the befriender left the service after a few weeks. DB met his new befriender soon after, and during this period he began to manage things better, controlling his drinking and stopping smoking.

They got on well, DB commenting that the 'befriender makes me feel ‘me’ and lifts my spirits high. When meeting up, it seems to reduce my anxiety, which is a main factor causing pain, so I’d say my physical wellbeing is improved.'

DB was receiving counselling at this point, which became complicated. He had a mental health crisis. Unfortunately, his befriender left KASP to take up full-time employment, and DB decided he no longer wanted to engage with the service.

When he completed his counselling, DB re-referred to the service. He was introduced to his current befriender in June 2023, and since then they have built a strong, supportive, and safe relationship. 

Achieving goals

At his recent review, DB stated that he feels a lot more confident in himself thanks to befriending and that the befriender has helped him to achieve small goals. His mental health has improved 'due to the befriender's positive attitude and interest in me as a person', which in turn has helped his physical health.

'If my mental health was poor, I would not get out and about, so this helps me keep physically better'.

DB says his experience of relationships has altered too. 

'Befrienders have helped me find out what a safe and positive relationship looks like. I can now take my time and get to know people at my own pace, and not rush into 'friendships' which may not be good for me.' 

Befriending works

There has been a real shift in every area of DB’s life. He now attends a group, socialising and making new 'safe' friends. He has given up drinking. Overall, he feels less isolated and lonely, continuing to enjoy his weekly time with his befriender. 
For more information on the KASP befriending service, or to volunteer, please visit the Kingdom Abuse Survivors Project page on the Befriending Networks Directory.