Having places to form connections and relationships outside of sexually exploitative situations and or high-risk environments is essential to the healing journey and toward pathways out of exploitation for girls and women. Fulfilling this need, HerCircle give girls and women the opportunity to build on their interpersonal skills, provide psycho-education, and create a strong allegiance and solidarity as survivors of sexual exploitation.

About the 2017 HerCircle program

flyer-imgHerCircle is a fully funded, free of charge 8-week therapeutic group program in Carlton North held at The Urban Alchemist. Our most recent program is running every Friday 10.30am – 1.30pm from the 4th of September until the 23rd of October 2017.

The group program offers a person-centred experiential, arts and sensory based therapeutic space for women to explore and heal from the physical, emotional and psychological trauma associated with sexual exploitation.

HerCircle is a woman-centred, feminist group. We aim to meet with every interested woman before the group to hear what her needs are and how the group can best support them. It will be a collaborative approach among the women attending and the two counselling facilitators, Cindy Bridge and Susan Bradborn

Who is HerCircle for?

Like all HerSpace programs, HerCircle is for girls and women aged 16 and over who self-identify as being affected by sexual exploitation. ‘Sexual Exploitation’ can refer to any situation in which a woman’s circumstances impede her ability to have choice about what is happening to her sexually.

By definition sexual exploitation refers to the abuse of power and vulnerability for sexual purposes through financial, political and social gain.

Examples of sexual exploitation can include: sex for exchange, street sex work, sex trafficking, interpersonal sexual exploitation (i.e. in the home), brothel-based, escort-based, and pornography.

How to refer:

Click here to download the 2017 HerCircle Referral Form. Ideally, this form is to be completed by the girl/women wanting to attend the program. If necessary, it can also be completed by a service provider in collaboration with the person being referred. If so, please attach a ‘Consent to share information’ form. 

Send a completed form to Emily Hanscamp: emily.hanscamp@herspace.org.au. One of the Facilitators will then be in touch to discuss the program with you further and make a time to meet with the woman before the group starts.

Meet our 2017 HerCircle Group Facilitators:


Cindy has 20 years experience providing counseling and case work support to women and young people affected by family violence, sexual assault, homelessness, mental health issues and drug and alcohol use.  She has worked in a variety of settings, using both individual counseling, casework, and therapeutic group interventions to assist women in their healing journeys.  She emphasizes a woman’s right to safety and dignity as core in navigating the journey to recovery and hope. Cindy brings a trauma informed, person-centered and human rights perspective to her work and believes that all people, especially women and children, deserve a life free from violence and exploitation.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Sociology)
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Graduate Diploma in Experiential Creative Arts Therapy



Susan has 14 years experience working as a counselor/advocate with victim/survivors of sexual assault. A key component of this work was group facilitation for victim/survivors of both childhood, and adult sexual assault. In this work she explored thoughts and themes through conversation and reflection, she has also found invaluable in the group process the use of creative arts activities. Susan has also facilitated many trauma recovery groups using Mandala (circle), in this process trauma and its impacts are explored within the safe boundary of the Mandala.

She works from a feminist framework, understanding the historical and current disparity of power that informs and maintains sexual exploitation. Trauma informed practice is embedded in her therapeutic work and she engages a collaborative, relational approach in her practice.


  • Masters of Experiential and Creative Arts Practice
  • Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy
  • Graduate Diploma in Counselling
  • Certificate in Trauma Counselling
  • Certificate in Crisis Counselling

Outcomes and impacts of the 2017 HerCircle Program

HerCircle evaluation full report 2018


Prevalence of Sexual Exploitation in Australia: Infographic


HerCircle: Executive summary of the Outcomes and Impacts of the Pilot Program, November 2015


Evaluation Report Findings Infographic (click for larger view)

pilot infographic