We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) award for Outstanding Charity of the Year.
We’re in very good company! Other shortlisted charities Muslim Aid, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, Sense and Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer.
The winner will be announced at the annual dinner and awards event at The National Motorcycle Museum on Saturday, 7 December.
Thank you so much to the chamber for shortlisting us, and showing your big-hearted support to people subjected to sexual violence.
A Disorder For Everyone is returning to Birmingham for the 3rd time to launch the upcoming book challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis. RSVP have contributed a chapter to the book and we’re excited to be co-presenting the event that will feature a talk by RSVP Chief Exec Lisa Thompson.
There’ll be a variety of speakers and workshops plus stalls by PCCS Books, RSVP, The Freedom Project, Mayday Trust, Bradford Soteria, Safely Held Spaces (and others to be confirmed).
This day is for anyone who is interested in and concerned about the current debates in ‘mental health’. Places should be booked in advance via this link
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
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
We would like to say a massive thank you to Jude and to Kate who supported RSVP in our special 40th year by running the recent London Marathon 2018.
In this blog Kate reflects on her marathon experience, her first ever one, and how she is delighted to have raised £1,528. We are amazed at this and at Jude’s efforts too, which saw her raise £789. Both have shown their bold support for and belief in survivors and raised a colossal amount. THANK YOU.
Enjoy reading Kate’s blog about her experience of running her first ever marathon, for RSVP too and saying “I believe you” to people affected by sexual abuse.
Well after months of training in the rain, snow and minus temperatures the day of the hottest London marathon in history arrived. I was extremely nervous but also eager to put my training to the test and to experience something I had waited years to do!
It was an amazing experience, the crowds support shouting and willing you on is unbelievable and there really is a spirit of London that’s difficult to explain but will stay with me. It was tough there’s no doubt, it felt harder then I ever could have imagined, and the heat no doubt played a huge part in that; seeing people collapsing and struggling was so upsetting.
I was really lucky to have 10 spots where I saw my wonderful friends and family which I am so grateful for and they willed me through to the end.
I also felt especially privileged to be running for RSVP and for all of the survivors that this wonderful charity continues to help. I feel so humbled to have raised over £1,500 including Gift Aid, people are extremely generous and I am forever grateful.
I am proud to say, I completed it, in 6 hours and 9 minutes! It was an amazing experience and I achieved a personal goal, being able to support RSVP too, in such a way, made it even more special.
Thank you again to everyone for your support and sponsorship, it meant so much to me, to RSVP and the people they support.
“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 proud to be involved in 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, including survivors of sexual trauma, with medical ‘disorders’ and language, we believe in choices, empowerment, trauma informed support and addressing the root causes of distress. We advocate that instead of asking ‘what’s wrong with you?’ supporters and professionals gently enquire, ‘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 and an alternative narrative 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 – psychotherapist and organiser of Drop the Disorder
Nollaig McSweeney – therapist, author and activist
Dr Jacqui Dillon – survivor, author, activist and trainer, featured on BBC’s Why Did I Go Mad?
Jessica Eaton – speaker, activist and researcher in victim blaming
Dr. Akima Thomas, Black feminist, psychotherapist and recent contributor to the activists letter speaking out on sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse
RSVP, and more!
Poet Clare Shaw, survivor and activist, will also 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.
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