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  1. Infinity fundraising update

    Some lovely news to share before Christmas – the kind folk at Infinity Stage Company organised a fundraising ball for us earlier this month, and raised a fantastic amount for RSVP.  £846 to be precise!

    Infinity chose RSVP as their charity of the year for this academic year, and they’re already making a real difference. A big thank you to the whole team.

    If you’re interested in checking out their work – you can see them in a production of the Vagina Monologues in February at the University of Birmingham. Check their Facebook page for more information

    Posted 20 December 2016
  2. New training: Cybertrauma 8th March 2017

    Wednesday 8th March 2017


    Cybertrauma: A new paradigm for working with cyberspace issues in therapy and beyond.

    What do you do if a child has Tinder on their smartphone?

    What if a client asks to record you in session?

    This training will look at the online world for children and young people, as well as adults, whether that be gaming consoles, PCs, tablets or smartphones. The training will looks at the issues, and pitfalls that people face online, how this affects the person and their ability to engage in interpersonal relationships, how to practically work with these issues.

    What will be covered?

    • What does cybertrauma mean?
    • What happens when a person is traumatised online?
    • Attatchment theory, use of devices, and the distinction from addiction
    • Introduction to attachment and how this relates to devices and cyberspace
    • Introduction to Polyvagal communication (how and why we communicate online the way we do)
    • Ethics, the law and your practice.

    Parts of the training include discussion based learning/breakout sessions.

    E-safety leaflets will be provided and a handy guide to take home with you.

    There will no doubt be more questions by the end of the session as cyberspace is ever evolving and the material is constantly updated to reflect this.

    About the trainer: Catherine Knibbs is a child sex abuse therapist and founder/CEO of Peer Support Yorkshire CIC, a service for child trauma, abuse and attachment. Catherine conducts research into the affects of cyberspace on young people’s interpersonal connections. Before training as a therapist, Catherine worked in gaming and computers.

    Location: Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull St, Birmingham B4 6AF

    Cost: £90 (voluntary orgs / individuals) £105 (Statutory / private orgs) + booking fee

    About the trainer: Catherine Knibbs is a child sex abuse therapist and founder/CEO of Peer Support Yorkshire CIC, a service for child trauma, abuse and attachment. Catherine conducts research into the affects of cyberspace on young people’s interpersonal connections. Before training as a therapist, Catherine worked in gaming and computers.






    Posted 7 December 2016
  3. Meet Mark – LGBT ISVA


    The ISVA team with their award, I knew I was being trained by the best, but now it’s official!

    My name is Mark and I am a new member of the ISVA team here at the Rape and Sexual Violence Project. I started working for RSVP at the beginning of August and thought I’d share with you how my first few months have been as well as some information on how I and other members of our team may be able to help you.

    Since starting this role I have had a lot of new experiences, met a diverse range of people and been able to attend some excellent training, including the Lime Culture ISVA Development Programme provided by the UK’s leading sexual violence training company. All of the team have been so supportive and welcoming and I feel so happy working for an excellent organisation. This was particularly celebrated when the ISVA team were presented with the Exceptional ISVA Team award at Lime Culture’s Limelight Awards.  I knew I was being supported and trained by the best, but it is now official!

    So why did I decide to join the team as a specialist ISVA to support the LGBT community? Well I have worked in sexual health for the last ten years and much of my experience has been supporting the LGBT community. I am also a member of the community myself and felt I had a wealth of experience that I can offer to further help and support people. As an LGBT Independent Sexual Violence Advocate I can provide practical and emotional support to anyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans*who has experienced sexual abuse or violence.

    Anyone can be affected by sexual violence and our great team of ISVA’s can all offer support. However, there are times that someone may feel that they need some specialist support. I hope that myself, and my colleague Bev – the other LGBT ISVA at RSVP – can be there to offer that specific help.

    So why do we have LGBT specific services? Well unfortunately hate crime against the LGBT community continues to remain prevalent in the UK and that includes instances of sexual assault. Stonewall report that:

    “One in six lesbian, gay and bi people have experienced a homophobic or biphobic hate crime or incident over the last three years and that 38 per cent of trans people have experienced physical intimidation and threats” (

    And the Homophobic Hate Crime Report 2013 noted that of these high statistics:

    “One in eight victims experienced unwanted sexual contact.” (

    What is worrying is that “two-thirds of those experiencing a hate crime or incident did not report it to anyone” (

    ISVAs can provide support in a number of ways that can assist anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or violence including:
    • Talking you through your options
    • Ensuring you can access the services and support you need
    • Offering emotional and practical support
    • Enabling you to report to the police if you decide to
    * Exploring other ways you can pass on information about the trauma you have experienced (e.g. anonymously through the Sexual Assault Referral Centre – SARC)
    • Ensuring your well-being, by chaperoning you on health appointments, including sexual health screenings

    If you feel that any of these services may be useful for you, you can contact an LGBT ISVA by calling 0121 643 0301 option 2 or directly on 07983 555598 (Mark) or 07535172052 (Bev)






    Posted 1 December 2016
  4. #GiveMe5 is live


    As part of Charity Tuesday, Local Giving will be matching 1000 £5 donations all day today. Each £5 donation made today will go  into a draw, randomly selected donations will be matched by Local Giving, meaning donations are doubled at no extra cost to you.

    To make a £5 donation, and enter the draw for match funded donations, go to

    The next #GiveMe5 is on 16th December.

    Posted 29 November 2016
  5. Empowered First Steps…

    Lisa our CEO is delighted that her blog which encourages survivors of rape to take empowered first steps is in the Huffington Post. Thanks to Emily Jacob from Reconnected Life for providing Lisa and RSVP with this opportunity. Read Lisa’s blog below:


    “The link between ultra-runs, any run over the 26.2 miles marathon distance and the empowerment of rape and sexual abuse survivors is not an obvious one. However, on September 3rd 2016 in Iceland when I crossed the finish line of the 155 mile ‘Fire and Ice‘ race one of the toughest multi terrain races in the world, that link was most definitely made, and not just because I was fundraising for RSVP and survivors’ services:

    What you rely on and discover in a hard 6 day challenge like ‘Fire and Ice’ is your inner metal, the steel that makes up your core and determines what you are made of. It is your metal that helps keep you calm when inside you feel afraid as you traverse a mountain side in treacherous conditions, where there is not a vehicle, road or another living soul in sight. It is your metal that enables you to dig deep when your body has sprung an early surprise injury on you, meaning that you’ll be forced to approach the race differently and feel pain you hadn’t expected. It is your metal that enables you to stay positive even when the conditions are dire. It is your metal that keeps you in tune with your needs, ensuring you make the right decisions for you to provide strength to power you through. It is still your metal that keeps you centred, positive and hopeful despite the almighty challenge ahead.

    And, beyond any doubt, metal is at the very centre of every rape and sexual abuse survivor I know, far more metal than it takes for an ultra-runner to complete any race. The metal survivors have enables them to find reserves within them when they thought their absolute limit had been reached and it renders survivors with capability, strength and resilience that they probably rarely give themselves credit for….

    Lisa’s blog is continued here on Huffington Post.

    Posted 22 November 2016
  6. Working with people who experience trauma related dissociation

    On Thursday 16th February, we will be welcoming back First Person Plural to continue their excellent training on trauma related dissociation.

    Using a mix of experiential, group discussion, audio visual media and didactic training tools the day aims to further improve understanding of the complexity and contradictions in how people who experience dissociation may present. It supports and develops participants existing professional knowledge and training through providing complex dissociation specific information and practical suggestions. It encourages development of participants’ practice when supporting a person who dissociates who is in crisis.

    The training is delivered by Kathryn Livingstone and Melanie Goodwin from First Person Plural, who are experts by experience. They deliver a professional training day that provides a unique perspective with generous sharing of lived experience to enhance theoretical learning.

    Attendance on the introductory day is the ideal prerequisite for entry onto this training. However, if you have not attended the first part of the training, we can share resources with you to view in advance: First Person Plural’s training film “A Logical Way of Being” and the chapter on Stabilisation from “No Two Paths The Same”. Please contact to request these resources, after booking.

    Thursday 16th February

    Priory Rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF

    Voluntary organisations/individuals – £75 + booking fee

    Statutory/private organisations – £90 + booking fee

    Book via

    Posted 8 November 2016
  7. Santa Cause 3


    Come along to a great charity evening where everyone wI’ll have a fun night whilst supporting our specialist charity.

    Every year we support thousands of survivors of rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse whether they are men, women, children, asylum seekers or trafficked people. The demand within Birmingham and the West Midlands is growing at an unacceptable level. We need your help and support to raise our profile and to also help engage supporters.

    Santa Cause 3 – The Return of Mrs Cause, will take place on Wednesday 23rd November 2016. The plan is to meet at The Bank Restaurant & Bar in Brindley Place, Birmingham for a welcome drink  of wine, beer or bubbly and photo shoot starting at 6pm. Everyone will then be given a special seasonal outfit before we leave for our second venue. The first 100 people to book will be given a free seasonal outfit sponsored by our good friends and supporters Orton Estates Ltd…… So book your tickets here !

    Then at approximately 7.30pm we will move onto Zizzis where you will receive another free welcome drink of bubbly and food.

    We then will move to our final destination of the night Nuvo, at approximately 9pm where we spend the remainder of the evening where there will be a DJ, a raffle with some great prizes and treats for a Christmas party!

    Unlike our Santa Cause events on previous years we are keeping this event to three venues to allow for a more leisurely approach.

    Book your tickets on the link above but if you do require any additional information please contact us on:

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Posted 3 November 2016
  8. The Tahlia Banks award – helping young people achieve their educational goals



    We are extremely grateful to Supatrax for supporting one of our clients via the Tahlia Banks award. Tahlia Banks passed away in April 2015 after a life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis, aged 20. Despite her condition, Tahlia inspired many to achieve through her media and radio skills and successfully enrolled on a BA Hons Degree in Media and Communications.

    Through this award, one of our young clients now has her own laptop that she can use to do homework, and achieve at school. Huge thanks to the Tahlia Banks award for supporting this young survivor to overcome disadvantage for a more hopeful future.


    Posted 2 November 2016
  9. Grow Your Tenner is live


    It’s Grow Your Tenner time with Localgiving. Donations of £10 will be doubled by Localgiving at no extra cost. That means a £10 donation made to RSVP today turns into £20, and a new regular monthly direct debit donation of £10 is turned into £20 for the first three months. If you’d like to support our work providing specialist services to survivors of rape and abuse, this is really the best time to give. The scheme is live until the pot of money (£345,000 for all charities’ match-funding) runs out. Each charity may receive up to a maximum of £2,500 of match funding through the campaign: £1,000 from one-time donations and £1,500 from Direct Debit donations matched for 3 months. Donations to RSVP will be matched until the limit is hit or the match fund has run out.The money was all used up in 11 days last year!

    Go to our LocalGiving charity page to donate

    Read more about Grow Your Tenner

    Thank you in advance for your support, and please feel free to spread the word!

    Posted 18 October 2016
  10. Thanks to Waitrose Community Matters


    A huge thank you from the RSVP team goes out to Waitrose Four Oaks branch for presenting RSVP with a cheque for £380. The sum was raised via their Community Matters programme, where shoppers vote with tokens for the charity they most want to support.

    The funds will  go towards specialist services for survivors of sexual violence, so we can continue our work supporting people across Birmingham and Solihull.

    Posted 12 October 2016

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