START is an independent Christchurch based social service agency that was established in 1987 by three women to attend to a particular gap in social services in Canterbury.   At that time there was no counselling specially tailored to the needs of children who disclosed sexual abuse.

These days START provides counselling for children, youth and adults who have been subject to sexual violence, alongside specific support for their whānau.  START employs ACC approved counsellors and most counselling fees are funded by ACC.  The whānau support services are also free to clients.  This honours START’s strong commitment to providing accessible, holistic and professional services.  Clinical staff are all members of appropriate professional bodies.

Our services are provided from a comfortable suburban house in St Albans which nestles anonymously into the neighbourhood.  This relaxing healing environment is well served with car parks and a nearby bus route.

START regularly provides consultations and education for the wider general and professional communities.

START also participates in the provision of a Sexual Violence Crisis Service via a partnership with AVIVA.  The Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury (SASSC) was established in 2014 following the sudden closure of Safecare and can be contacted on telephone (03) 3775402.

While established by Pakeha women START responds to requests for services from all parties (genders, ethnicities, and ages) and seeks appropriate support and guidance from external supervisors to undertake their work.

START changed its legal entity from an Incorporated Society to that of a Charitable Trust in 2014.