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  1. Are lads’ mags mainstreaming dangerous sexism?

    The following post is written by Julie Whiteman of University of Birmingham who is currently researching how contemporary media representations of heterosexuality communicate ideas around sex and relationships, and looking at how this fits with sexual violence against women.

    Here she looks at a review of Horvath, M. A. H., Hegarty, P., Tyler, S. and Mansfield, S. (2011) “Lights on at the end of the party”: Are lads’ mags mainstreaming dangerous sexism?  from the British Journal of Psychology 103,  pp. 454–471

    This article was a landmark for me in my PhD literature review reading material. I was shocked by what I read, and it helped shape the research aims for my own research into how media work with people’s internal beliefs.

    In this article Miranda Horvath and colleagues found that the young women and men in their study could not differentiate between the language of lads’ mags and that of convicted rapists. They also found that the language used in lads’ mags was considered more ‘extreme’ and that young men identified more with statements when they were attributed to lads’ mags.  

    The authors drew their sample quotes for the study (identified as expressing a ‘hostile sexism’) from a range of lads’ magazines. These magazines included articles which advocated their young male readers to get drunk, fake sincerity (to women), and to target “’vulnerable women’ for ‘sexual conquest’” (p455). The researchers also took quotes from interviews with convicted rapists, known to use “techniques of neutralization” (p456) i.e. language that diminishes their own responsibility and places it with women.  The researchers found people had difficulty differentiating between the two, guessing correctly just 55% of the time – that is a 45% error rate of confusion between sources. Participants judged the content of lads’ mags to be more derogatory than that of the convicted rapists, and yet, when the statements were attributed to a lads’ mag, the men were more likely to identify with them.

    This result led the authors to question the blurred boundaries of speech between the two sources. What this research does which previous research does not is to explore how young people make sense of the magazine articles they read, bringing into question the role these media play in the socialization of young people and addressing the denials of magazine editors that their publications are of no social influence. Horvath et al. argue that these magazines are a normalizing and legitimate source of information, that they have a normalising influence on the sexist beliefs they communicate about women. This was summarised by one participant in the study who claimed that the content was degrading but in a way that was OK because it was in a glossy magazine, or another who said that while the magazine didn’t condone rape, it used language that made it appear consensual.

    While the lads’ mags market has changed significantly since this article was published I believe that its findings on the normalising effect of mainstream content holds true today. More research needs to be done to explore how online media are received by audiences and how the reach of social media is operating to shape socialization.

    Posted 15 October 2018
  2. The Girl Behind the Glass – Thurs 8th Nov

    Below is a blog post written by Abigail, one of the performers in The Girl Behind the Glass. The piece explores some of the effects of sexual violence on a survivor and will be performed at the mac in Edgbaston at 3pm and 7pm on Thursday 8th Nov. All are welcome and tickets can be booked here https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/the-girl-behind-the-glass-1

    My name is Abigail and I am one of the performers in The Girl Behind The Glass by composer Chloe Knibbs, a piece which explores the shame and blame that is placed upon people who experience rape and sexual assault.

    The piece is written for three musicians, (two singers and a cellist), who all represent an element of one person. As a singer I think that it is so important to be challenged by the projects that I take on and this has certainly been both musically challenging and thought-provoking. When we first started rehearsals for The Girl Behind The Glass for the work-in-progress performance in 2017, we were able to achieve a very open, trusting and supportive group dynamic, which really helped when discussing the issues surrounding rape and sexual assault.

    At the start of the current rehearsal process we were also able to have a session with artist well-being practitioner Louise Platt, which was a wonderful way of reacquainting ourselves with the emotional nature of the piece and re-establishing our group dynamic in preparation to explore the piece and the subject matter again. I find that having had such open discussions in such a safe space, I am more confident about talking about sexual assault to my friends, family and colleagues and I hope that those who see the performance will be able to do so too.

    My main goal as a performer, is to faithfully present what has been written by the composer, both musically and dramatically. Having Chloe involved in our musical rehearsals, combined with the fact that she is also directing the performance, is very reassuring. We started the rehearsal process by focusing on the music. Being able to ask Chloe specific questions about a certain passage phrasing or the emotional idea behind a melody has meant that I feel more able to give a realistic portrayal of the character both musically and emotionally. There are moments in the piece that as a singer intentionally verge on being uncomfortable vocally and emotionally. The bombardment of the girl by all the comments from friends and family in scene five, for example,lasts as long as we can push the levels of discomfort for both the performers and the audience. I found that performing to an audience, that were in close proximity to the stage area, to be very interesting indeed. I realised that some members of the audience could not look directly at us, as though they were intruding on something very personal. Whilst other audience members watched so intently as though they dare not look away.

    What I have taken away from the performance and the rehearsal process, was a sense that having this topic presented as a piece of music theatre, was most definitely a success. Performances like this open up further discussion about rape and sexual assault by all involved performers and audience alike.

    There will be two performances of The Girl Behind the Glass on the 8th November at mac Birmingham, at 3pm and 7pm. The shows will mark the 40th anniversary of the Rape and Sexual Violence Project and are supported by the PRS Women Make Music Scheme.

    For further details, please see the following link: https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/the-girl-behind-the-glass-1

    Posted 10 October 2018
  3. We’re looking for volunteer counsellors

    We are looking for counsellors to join the team on a voluntary basis to support survivors of sexual abuse. As a charity, the contribution of volunteers to our work is so valuable. If you share our values of believing survivors, and going the extra mile to offer bold and big-hearted support, we’d love to hear from you.

    Training will commence in January 2019. Both qualified and student counsellors are welcome to apply. There are10 spaces available. Please complete the attached application form and return it no later than Monday 12th November. If you have not heard from us by Friday 30th November you should assume you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

    Unfortunately we do not accept students on distance learning courses or qualified counsellors who do not hold a degree or diploma in counselling or psychotherapy.

    Interviews will commence week beginning 3rd December:

    The training will take place on the following dates if you are successful upon completing the application form and an interview:

    Wednesday 16th, 23rd, 30th January 2019

    The times will be 10am-4pm for all days and all dates must be attended.

    Application_ form

    About RSVP

    Posted 8 October 2018
  4. Cuddly Donation.

     

    THANK YOU!!!

    We would like to say a huge thank you to a young person who recently kindly donated a bundle of cuddly toys to RSVP.

    We were able to give these to children and young people who use our services which resulted in lots of big smiles.

     

    Posted 2 October 2018
  5. Children’s counsellor vacancy

    We’re seeking a counsellor to work alongside children affected by sexual abuse.

    Hours –18 hours per week, with the following shift pattern

    Monday 4pm-8.40pm, Friday 4.30pm-8pm, Saturday 12.30pm-4pm and Sunday 10.00am-4.20pm

    Salary – £23,866.00 pro rata plus 1-3% pension contribution where applicable

    Contract – Fixed term for 12 months, extension is funding dependent.

    RSVP are looking to recruit a children’s counsellor to offer therapeutic support to children aged 5 to 17 years of age of all genders. You will need experience of working with children of all ages and an understanding of attachment issues and trauma work.

    Please email info@rsvporg.co.uk or call Anjella on 0121 643 0301 if you wish to discuss the role in more detail.

    To apply, please download and read the below documents, and return the application form to info@rsvporg.co.uk . Closing date for applications is 5pm, Tuesday 23rd October.

    Children’s counsellor job description and person spec

    Children’s counsellor application form

     

    Posted 20 September 2018
  6. In at the deep end!

    Six brave fundraisers are taking on a massive challenge for RSVP. On 20th October, they’ll be swimming with sharks, without a cage!

    They all have fundraising pages online and we’re hoping they’ll smash their fundraising targets.

    Thanks to all the fundraisers (and those supporting them), your support makes a big difference.

    Gurdeep Gill

    Adam Bailey

    Charlotte Harrell

    Gregg, Joshua and Dominic Morgan

    Posted 12 September 2018
  7. Chinese women’s group facilitator vacancy

    We are looking for a group facilitator to form part of our social group service that addresses the issue of loneliness and isolation among survivors of sexual violence and abuse. This vacancy is for a facilitator to work with RSVP’s Chinese women’s group.

    This post is open to women only (exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1).

    RSVP is an award winning, long established and well respected specialist charity. We support children and adults of all genders following rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. This year we are 40, having been established in 1978. We are a vibrant, growing organisation. We believe survivors. We are bold and will go the extra mile to support survivors. We are big hearted, showing the empathy that survivors deserve and need. If you fit these values then we would love to hear from you

    Chinese women’s group facilitator

    Hours – 3 hours on the second Friday of every month and 2 hours prep at least one week prior to the group,  totaling 5 hours per month

    Salary – £21,693 pro-rata plus 2-3% pension contribution.

    Your role will be to provide a high quality and victim/survivor-focused social support to women of the Chinese community. To facilitate and help to deliver a range of group activities in a safe and social way to meet the needs of Chinese women affected by rape, sexual assault, exploitation and childhood sexual abuse. To demonstrate positive experiences of social engagement and interaction. To support survivors in interacting positively with others. To motivate people in the group. To put an understanding of group dynamics and into practice and to maintain client safety and confidentiality at all times.

    Please email info@rsvporg.co.uk or call Anjella on 0121 643 0301 if you wish to discuss the role in more detail.

    To apply, please download and read the below documents, and return the application form to info@rsvporg.co.uk . Closing date for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 19th September.

    Chinese group facilitator job description

    Chinese group facilitator person specification

    Application form Chinese group facilitator

    Posted 22 August 2018
  8. Refugee and asylum-seeker support worker vacancy

    We are looking for a support worker to form part of our specialist service supporting refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants who have experienced rape and sexual abuse.

    RSVP is an award winning, long established and well respected specialist charity. We support children and adults of all genders following rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. This year we are 40, having been established in 1978. We are a vibrant, growing organisation. We believe survivors. We are bold and will go the extra mile to support survivors. We are big hearted, showing the empathy that survivors deserve and need. If you fit these values then we would love to hear from you.

    Refugee and asylum-seeker support worker

    Hours –10 hours per week, specific days/times to be negotiated.

    Salary – £21,693 pro-rata plus 2-3% pension contribution.

    Contract – Fixed term for 12 months

    To provide a high quality and victim/survivor-focused support service for refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants who have been subjected to, or at risk of sexual violence, abuse and/or exploitation. The support worker will:

    • Provide practical support at every stage of the survivor journey
    • Ensure survivors can access health, housing and other support services that appropriately recognise and meet the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers.
    • The support worker will improve client access to specialised services and provide equality of service.

    Please email info@rsvporg.co.uk or call Anjella on 0121 643 0301 if you wish to discuss the role in more detail.

    To apply, please download and read the below documents, and return the application form to info@rsvporg.co.uk . Closing date for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 24th October.

    Application Form 

    Person Specification

    Job description

    Posted 21 August 2018
  9. The Girl Behind the Glass

     

    One voice in your head says – “He said everything is OK”.

    The other asks – “Why do I feel sick…?”

    With 1 in 3 women across the world experiencing sexual assault, this piece explores the non-linear journey of sexual assault recovery. The piece also considers how society perceives these issues, and the effect that has on those who have experienced sexual assault.

    A multi-talented female trio of two singer-actors and a cellist use live music, movement and drama to explore recovery and shame, moving through a journey of denial, rejection and acceptance.

    Chloe Knibbs has produced The Girl Behind the Glass, and is supported by the PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music.

    You can see the performance at the mac in Birmingham on Thursday 8th November. There’s a matinee and an evening performance and you can book tickets via the mac’s website https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/the-girl-behind-the-glass-1

     

     

    Posted 7 August 2018
  10. 5 Ultra runs in 4 months!

    We’re so grateful to Nicola for her incredible fundraising efforts. She is completing 5 different ‘ultra runs’ in just 4 months. Her final, and biggest, challenge takes place this week at the Thames Ultra – a whopping 184 miles!

     

    Nicola has already smashed her target, and if you want to donate to her fundraising page and show your support, just go to LocalGiving.

    Posted 6 August 2018