New Abuse Survivors Clinics (ASC’s) are being offered in Solihull and Chelmsley Wood through our ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy) service. This adds to the long running ASC already provided in Whittall Street where you can see our ISVA and a doctor (no doctor is available on the Solihull and Chelmsley Wood clinics.)
The ASC’s are places where sexual abuse survivors can go to seek support and are run in collaboration with Umbrella Sexual Health. Information about dates, times and locations of the ASC’s can be found here.
At the clinics our specialist advocates (ISVAs) can advise, signpost, refer and chaperone sexual abuse survivors for therapeutic and/or practical support. We know that accessing support can feel daunting and this service gives an easier, local access point for survivors from Solihull and Chelmsley Wood. The ASC’s are open to anybody who is a survivor of sexual violence, of any gender, and any age 13+. Our ISVAs are there for you if you need information around access to health care, reporting to the police, and any other issue that directly relates to the abuse experienced. ISVAs will support you to feel informed so you can make your own independent decisions.
CEO Lisa Thompson, and Head of ISVA Services Yvonne Langham were on BBC Radio WM about the new clinics. They talk about the specialist support needed when survivors of sexual abuse don’t know where to turn and are worried about starting police investigations and the court process. Listen here.
85% of sexual abuse cases don’t get reported, however survivors still need holistic support even when taking legal action is not the way forward. There has been recently been an increase in people coming forward needing help with dealing with non-recent abuse, but still living with the effects many years later. If you’re a survivor, help is out there. If you’re local to Solihull and Chelmsley Wood, the new clinics are on your door step; ready to listen to you, believe you, and support you.
“I was exasperated with the whole ‘disorder’ thing – it has taken over as the only way to understand distress and there is nothing hopeful about it. This event challenges it all, and, as it turns out – there is hope!” (Participant Newcastle AD4E)
RSVP is running a partnership event alongside the team from ‘A Disorder for Everyone.’ The event will challenge the culture of psychiatric diagnosis, explore trauma informed alternatives, examine current attitudes and aim to change the way we approach mental health. Rather than labelling people with medical language, we want to address the root causes of distress. Instead of asking ‘what’s wrong with you?’ ask, ‘what’s happened to you?’
“A Disorder for Everyone” – will be a dynamic and thought provoking day, welcoming well informed and passionate speakers who challenge the mainstream narrative of ‘diagnosis and disorder’ in favour of non- pathologising, trauma-informed alternatives. If you want the chance to hear innovative ideas about mental health book your place now.
‘A Disorder For Everyone!’ is taking place on Friday 20th April, Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham, B4 7SX, 09:00 – 17:00.
The day will be of interest to mental health professionals, students and trainees, academics, people with lived experience of psychiatric diagnosis, activists, carers, supporters, survivors and anyone interested in current debates about mental health.
Dr Lucy Johnstone – clinical psychologist and author of ‘Users and Abusers of Psychiatry‘
Jo Watson – trauma specialist and founder of Drop the Disorder
Nollaig McSweeen – mental health nurse and activist
Dr Jacqui Dillon – writer and trainer, featured on BBC’s Why Did I Go Mad?
Jessica Eaton – Sexual trauma specialist and researcher in victim blaming
Poet Clare Shaw will be performing.
Please click on the link below for full details and booking
Join us on the 22nd of March as we approach our 40th birthday as a charity supporting survivors of rape, childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence, trafficking, as an adult or child or both.
The need is greater than ever – the heat is on to increase support for survivors.
As the need grows, we have expanded enormously. Already we have had to increase our team of award winning ISVAs (advocates) to offer support with police and court processes, as well as our counselling staff and helpline opening hours.
Come and network with us and others for our ‘hottest’ event yet.
Ticket price is £25pp
Entrance to three venues
Free oriental cocktails
Free food (steadily getting hotter!)
‘The Heat Is On Challenge’ for those wishing to take part. For £5 you can enter the competition to find the hottest taste buds! Great prize for the winner.
Please contact Jeremy, RSVP’s corporate fundraiser, on email@example.com or 07793536002 for any queries or to donate prizes, sponsorship and to enter the Heat Is On Challenge
Last night, we marched at the University of Birmingham to demand justice for sexual abuse survivors and to demand the right to use public space without fear.
In 2017 the Guardian reported in almost every country in the world, women walk disproportionately fewer steps each day than men, according to a recent Stanford study which analysed the smartphone data of 717,527 people worldwide over 68 million days of activity. The ‘gender step gap’ is not down to laziness. It’s down to personal safety and women’s walking habits. Feeling forced to use transport instead of walking makes safety a privilege, according to Stop Street Harassment founder Holly Kearl. This option to not walk is only available if you have the financial means to access transport – which means for teenage girls in particular, cost can be a barrier to safety.
A report released last month by the Children’s Society showed one in three girls aged between 10 and 17 in Britain said they felt afraid of being followed by strangers. Multiple girls described being “beeped” at while in their school uniforms by men driving past.
In every sphere of life women and girls negotiate the threat of sexual assault and harassment. Equal citizenship cannot be claimed while this threat restricts lives. Everyone has the right to use public space without fear.
The Reclaim the Night march gives women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night on a safe and empowering event.
RSVP were there along with the new university Sexual Assault Referral Centre service (SARC), increasing support for survivors on campus.
Did you know that this week it’s Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week? What will you be doing to raise awareness of sexual abuse?
You can use the hashtag #itsnotok to raise awareness on social media.
You can read the words of survivors on our Survivor Stories page.
You can donate to our 40th birthday campaign, we’re aiming to rise £40,000 to mark our 40th year and continue supporting survivors for 40 more.
You can challenge victim blaming myths wherever you hear them. Jessica Eaton has made this fantastic 60 second video introducing the problem of victim blaming in sexual violence.
And what are RSVP doing this week?
Today, we’re at the launch of a new publication To Report or Not To Report: Survivor Testimony of the (In)Justice System by our friends at Reconnected Life. We’re proud to know some of the contributors who have shown immense courage as they speak out about their experiences.
Tonight, we’re at the University of Birmingham to Reclaim the Night, standing up against sexual violence and harassment, cat-calling and victim blaming.
And this week we’re offering 287 counselling appointments to survivors of any gender, any age in various locations around Birmingham and Solihull.
Hello! My name is Eden, I’m twenty years young and I’m a second year student at the University of Birmingham. I study Social Policy and Criminology, inspired by CSI the TV show and my passion for making Government agencies and their policies work for everyone. I applied to do a placement at RSVP because I wanted to help spread the word of RVSP and the great work they do. As a West Midlands girl, I wanted to give something back to the community, by being a part of something bigger then myself; and that something being an organisation that supports so many victims of sexual abuse. My passions include how victims are treated by different agencies and society in general. I’m interested in what is most helpful for certain victims and what isn’t. I want to explore what needs the organisation has, such as adequate funding, in order for professionals to deliver counselling and support to the best of their ability. I want to gain experience in working in other sectors, trying my hand at marketing (a role I’ve never undertaken before), and working with new kinds of people and meeting people I never normally would. Most of all I want to join a movement and be a pioneer in combating sexual abuse.
Will you join the movement?
We are hosting a launch of our new ‘Fundraising Friends’ on Tuesday 30th January, at Carrs Lane Church, 18:00 – 20:00, everyone welcome.
Additionally David Hyner, a renowned motivational speaker and director, will be delivering one of his award winning speeches on positive thinking – the main topic he has discussed as host of his own radio shows on BBC radio. David himself, has raised over £500,000 for various charities, and he can give you tools to follow in his footsteps and conquer your charitable goals to make a difference. You’ll also receive techniques gathered from research interviews with top achievers to take inspiration from. As a thank you for your contribution to the amazing charity you are given access to £100 of resources.
Come along and see what it’s all about for the price of a £10 entrance fee with no obligation to join our initiatives.
Something amazing is happening this year and we’d love YOU to be a part of it.
2018 is RSVP’s 40th year!
Have you ever wanted to do something to benefit others?
Do you want to join a movement of people who are saying “enough is enough” about sexual abuse?
Do you want to volunteer your time and give something back to your community?
Come along to the launch of our new “Fundraising Friends” on Tuesday 30 January, Birmingham City Centre 18:00 – 20:00.
You’ll hear from award winning speaker David Hyner AND receive…
- The skills and confidence to SMASH your 2018 charitable goals and resolutions
- Techniques from 20+ years of research interviews with top achievers
- Access to £100 worth of resources post the event as a thank you for your support of our amazing charity.
There’s no obligation at all to join our initiative – you can just come along and see what it’s all about. All for the price of a voluntary, no obligation donation/entrance fee of just £10! For more information click here
As Christmas trees and all things glittery are taken down across the nation we wanted to show you the tree that our survivor led craft group, Arts With Hearts decorated ,which also made a difference for abused children. You’ll then know where to come to if you still need some Christmas sparkles in your life!
In collaboration with Irwin Mitchell the tree brightened up the foyer of the ICC during December and was part of the NSPCC’s Festival of Trees. Irwin Mitchell sponsored the tree, with the sponsorship going to fund the NSPCC’s work. Our craft group were then invited by Irwin Mitchell to decorate it with the beautiful handmade decorations they made.
We’re sure you’ll agree that the tree was beautifully creative and unique, we thank Irwin Mitchell for allowing us to be involved but more importantly all the survivors who created the beautiful decorations.
If you are spending Christmas with other people we hope that they bring you happiness, laughter and warmth. If spending it alone we hope that you have some quality ‘you time’ and relaxation, and show love to yourself by doing the things you want to do.
How ever you are spending it if this time of year is difficult, retriggering, loss filled, traumatising or distressing we want you to know we understand, we are thinking of you and we send encouragement to enable you to draw on the strength, determination and resilience you possess. We send you big hearted warmth, absolute belief in you and your ability to overcome, and boldness to strive on and prosper, flourish and thrive, despite the traumatic times you’ve experienced.
From all of the team at RSVP we’d like to wish you and all survivors, a very Happy Christmas.
If you need our support we will open again on Wednesday 27th December from 9am-1pm on our:
– Helpline if you need to talk 0121 643 4136
– Office number for queries about services or to make referrals 0121 643 0301 option 1
For full information about the other times we are open click here.
My name is Katrina the newest Children‘s ISVA at RSVP, I have been in post since mid September. Whilst here I have had the opportunity to meet a friendly, skilled and diverse team and attend some useful training as RSVP is committed to developing its team. I’ve found RSVP to be bold, passionate and determined to reach out to all those who have been affected by sexual abuse and sexual violence.
I have worked with children and young people for a number of years, including those affected by abuse, I’m passionate about making a difference and think that alongside advocacy counselling and therapy for children is an important element to the healing process.
In being an advocate for children and young people I provide flexible and consistent support which listens to, advocates for and encourages each young person to share their feelings and thoughts. I am a central point of contact for a child and ensure that other professionals, carers and organisations work in partnership and harmony for the child providing a child centred service. Children have a voice and it’s important that all parties ensure they are heard. In my experiences I have found that each young person expresses themselves in different forms which are unique to them, and we should embrace these differences and celebrate them.
The ISVA team I belong to are fantastic and have been very supportive and helpful whilst I have been settling in to my new role. RSVP is a great organisation which enables people who have experienced sexual trauma to have their needs understood and met, have hope and confidence after sexual abuse, and look at the options available to them. We support people through criminal justice and court processes, civil action and in seeking counselling and other support. RSVP provides a confidential, warm and safe place, where people are empowered with the right information and resources available to them. This is a journey that supports sexually traumatised people to gain control again and we take bold action to support this process.
My role consists of:
1. Supporting children and young people to be fully informed about police and court processes,
2. Gaining information about what’s going on with the police investigation,
3. Going with the child on visits to the court prior to a trial,
4. Supporting children and young people to access health and other support, by arranging appointments and often going with them too. I assist them to gain health, STI testing, counselling and other support,
5. Liaising with schools and colleges to ensure that the needs of the child and young person are fully understood, identified and addressed so they can continue to access and achieve through education.
Ultimately my role supports any child or young person under 18 years of age who has an advocacy need which directly relates to the sexual abuse and trauma they have experienced.
I’m determined to provide support to children which enables them to:
1. Safely share how much they want to about what‘s happened
2. Live a hopeful, confident future where they are not defined by their past experiences.