Confidentiality & Inclusivity
Breaking the Silence is a confidential service. Our strict
adherence to the
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's Ethical
Framework means we will not discuss details of the
counselling sessions without the express written and verbal
permission of the client.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
In exceptional circumstances we may have to disclose information
but we would make every effort to do this with your knowledge
and agreement. These exceptions are outlined in the BACP
guidelines on confidentiality and are:
- where there is risk of
harm to yourself or others;
- under the Prevention of
- if the counsellor is
subpoenaed or summoned as a witness in a Court of Law.
The Service works under the terms of the Data Protection Act
1998. The factual data you give to the Service and the
dates on which you attend for Counselling are stored in order to
compile anonymous statistics on the use of the service. Your
Counsellor may also keep notes on your meetings to help him/her
in their work with you. These are kept securely. In accordance
Ethical Framework of Good Practice counsellors adhere to
strict principles of anonymity in their record keeping.
Our policy is to keep minimum notes and records. The information
we do store includes:
- Personal information, such
as your name, date of birth, address etc;
- Background information
that might be relevant to the counselling process;
- Your signed contract with
- Confidential case notes
(describing the main focus of the session with any important
- Information for service
evaluation and statistical purposes.
Access to Records
Under the Data Protection Act (1998), clients have the right to
access any records kept about them. This does not include
sensitive information about a third party or confidential
information obtained from another source, e.g. correspondence
from a tutor or a doctor. If you would like to access your
counselling records, requests need to be made to the Head of
Service in writing, briefly stating your reason(s).
Breaking the Silence -
Commitment to Inclusivity
Unwanted and abusive sexual experiences in childhood can affect
all men regardless of race, religion, class, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, culture etc.
How this trauma affects each individual depends on the social,
religious, cultural and personal influences in his life.
Breaking the Silence recognizes that there are ‘barriers’ that
prevent men from South Asian communities talking about their
suffering. These prevents them healing. These may include:
- Sharam and Izzet
– Shame and honour: cultural prohibitions against disclosing
secrets (this only serves to protect abusers).
- Sexual abuse remains
‘taboo’ or ‘hidden’ – South Asian communities lack the
vocabulary (in their mother tongue) to describe it.
- Sexual abuse is considered
a ‘western phenomena’ – something that only affects ‘white
- Limited opportunities to
share this experience with someone impartial e.g. not from
- Fear that existing support
services e.g. Social Services, won’t understand your culture
and respond in a way that puts you more at risk.
- Expectations about men and
emotion e.g. men don’t hurt, men don’t talk, men are tough.
This only protects the abuser further.
- Rejection or threat of
rejection by family or community - told to accept the
situation, or even blamed for it. Told to keep it secret or
face consequences e.g. family will be made outcasts from the
community; held responsible for breaking up the family;
threat of violence.
- Creates greater sense of
Breaking the Silence believe
that any effective support and healing must respect and honour
the contexts above that affect each man’s life. It is only by
understanding the unique dilemmas faced by South Asian men that
we can provide a service that can help men to heal and live
healthier, more fulfilling lives
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