BAWAR offers one-on-one counseling to individuals, families and couples who have been impacted by sexual violence. We work with with survivors who have experienced both recent and past sexual harm.  

In the aftermath of trauma, it can be grounding and impactful to to have a compassionate witness to provide support. Our agency provides three counseling programs, each staffed with experienced, empathic individuals who are committed to offering survivors and their immediate communities a space for reflection, the development of supportive coping strategies and the expansion of personal agency and resilience.

Peer-Counseling Program

BAWAR’s Peer-Counseling Program has been in effect since the agency first opened its doors. The practice of providing one-on-one, community-based support to survivors has been essential to the movement to end sexual violence, and to the continued development of solidarity and resilience for so many individuals who have experienced sexual assault.
Within this program, a BAWAR advocate will meet with you for up to ten sessions, during which you can receive confidential support. All advocates within our Peer-Counseling Program have received additional counseling training to supplement the state-mandated 40 hour Rape Crisis Counselor Certification. Sessions are led at the direction of the survivor, facilitated with gentle witnessing by the advocate in attendance. Common areas of focus include:

  • Crisis intervention that may include assessing the immediate situation, expression of feeling and the creation of a potential safety plan or other plan of action
  • Reflection, validation and encouragement
  • Provision of psychoeducation regarding common experiences in the aftermath of a traumatic event
  • Provision of resources and referrals, including literature, media, community events and direct service providers

Clinical Counseling Program

BAWAR is proud to introduce our Clinical Counseling Program as of 2018. Individuals, families and/or couples can receive up to fifteen, no-fee sessions with a mental-health clinician, registered within the state of California. Although each clinician may differ in style and/or theoretical orientation, the overall Clinical Program of BAWAR is informed by an anti-oppression, multicultural, humanistic framework, influenced by feminist, narrative and liberation psychologies.
Typically, sessions are held once per-week for fifty minutes. Although our clinical program offers what is considered ‘brief therapy’, individuals seeking clinical counseling can expect to address complex issues including, though not limited to:

  • Long-term or acute effects of trauma, including chronic anxiety and/or PTSD
  • The direct need for the development of coping skills and strategic interventions
  • Intergenerational trauma, or the impact of family histories on overall mental health and well-being
  • Healthy sexuality including intimacy, asexuality, pleasure, desire and/or safe(r) sex practices. *BAWAR clinicians are LGBTQIA+, kink and poly friendly. 

All of these concerns will be addressed through a multicultural, anti-oppression lens, attending to the specific struggles faced by individuals across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age and documentation status.
Clinical Counselors are bound to the law & ethics code of the state of California, including acting as mandated reporters. Further information will be provided during the initial session.
Latino Counseling Program

The Latino Counseling Program offers Peer Counseling services for members of the Latinx community in Spanish. You can find more information here.


Community Partner Referrals

BAWAR provides referrals to other community service providers that can support survivors.The values of autonomy, care and fully informed choice are visible in our carefully selected agency partners.

Ellen Dekker
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Ellen Dekker, MFT is a licensed psychotherapist with over 25 years clinical experience working in the field of trauma recovery. She is currently a pro bono Clinical Consultant for the staff at BAWAR and was Treatment Coordinator of The Rape Crisis Center of West Contra Costa. She brings to her work a genuine, warm, interactive style and a broad toolbox of skills and resources to help clients heal from the effects of trauma and settle into a greater sense of well-being. She has a private practice in Berkeley, CA where she works with individuals and couples. For more information call Ellen Dekker at 415 979-6830 or visit:


All individuals who seek counseling services at BAWAR can expect to be met with great respect, transparency and tremendous care. Services are offered with the participating individual’s full consent, and may be changed or cancelled at any time.

We are excited for this opportunity to further provide counseling and therapeutic support to survivors of sexual violence in 2018 and beyond. We look forward to speaking with you!

If you have additional questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us at our main office during the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, at (510) 430-1298, or by emailing for information about our programs to