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  1. This May is Will Month

    RSVP are delighted to announce that we are organising a Will Month in May in conjunction with local will writing firm BensonWilliams.

    This will firstly help our supporters to purchase a very necessary product, and secondly it will help us to raise much needed funds to help us to continue providing our services for survivors.

    Here’s how it works. One of BensonWilliams representatives will arrange to meet with you.  On completion they will charge their standard fee, currently £120 for single Wills and £160 for mirrored Wills, but 50% of that fee will then be donated back to RSVP on your behalf by BensonWilliams.

    Jim at BensonWilliams:

    There are many reasons why it may be advisable for you to make your Will. The single biggest for any parent of a child below eighteen is protection of that child. The law is silent on the subject of guardianship of a minor, and children can very easily end up in care whilst custody decisions are being made. Also children below eighteen can’t inherit money as minors and it has to go into a trust for them. Making a Will means you control who becomes guardian for your children, and you decide who controls their money until they are eighteen.

    There are of course many other reasons why people make Wills. For example you may be worried about an ex spouse or partner claiming on your estate, you may be in a second marriage, you may live with a partner but not be married. All of these circumstances create potentially problematic issues, but whatever your circumstances BensonWilliams will tailor things to your precise needs.

    To take advantage of this scheme please forward your details to Sarah Lafford at RSVP. She will then forward your details to BensonWilliams so that they can contact you to arrange your appointment.

    Posted 28 March 2019
  2. Good news!

    We are delighted to announce that the Home Office has agreed funding to enable 10 organisations to work towards the Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence, at no cost to the agency.


    We are extremely excited that RSVP has been selected to be one of the agencies funded. We can’t wait to start working alongside the Male Survivors Partnership in conjunction with LimeCulture CIC. These standards, once gained, will apply to our counselling service giving extra reassurance to the male survivors we support.

    Thanks to the Home Office, Male Survivors Partnership and LimeCulture CIC for this amazing opportunity.


    Read more here.

    Posted 14 February 2019
  3. We want to hear from you

    We’re consulting with people who have come to RSVP for counselling, or are waiting for counselling at RSVP. We want to know what difference counselling is making for you, how we can do things differently and improve our support for survivors. Survivors are at the centre of everything we do, and so your thoughts and contributions are really valuable.

    We want to talk with you about the experience of waiting for counselling. Waiting times are long, and they’ve been increasing. We know how difficult it can be to wait for your one-to-one support to begin and so want to think of ways we can reduce waiting times. We also want to talk about people’s experience of counselling.

    Long waiting times are sadly affecting survivors all over the country, as reported in the media last year

    We are organising some focus groups so people can talk about these issues in person. Anyone (over 18) who has accessed counselling from RSVP, or is waiting for counselling, can take part. They will take place in Birmingham city centre on

    Wednesday 20th February 3.30-5pm

    Thursday 21st March 1.30-3pm (straight after our monthly coffee morning)

    Tuesday 26th March 6-7.30pm

    If you would like to take part in a focus group, please contact Sarah Lafford 0121 643 0301

    And if you would like to give feedback but cannot attend a focus group, there’s an anonymous online survey. We’d love to get as much feedback from survivors as we can…




    Posted 7 February 2019
  4. 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
  5. 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

    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:

    Posted 10 October 2018
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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 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 . 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
  9. 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
  10. 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 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 . 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

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