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Invitation to participate in research about specialist services for survivors

Would you like to take part in a study aimed at understanding the support survivors of sexual violence receive from specialist voluntary sector services? If so, please read on…..

Study background

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are carrying out a research project about the role of specialist sector voluntary services who support survivors of sexual violence. Despite their historically important role providing and innovating services in this field, there is very limited evidence about what they do and how they work alongside other services (such as health, mental health, housing, etc). With limited evidence, it can be difficult to understand and demonstrate the role of specialist sector voluntary services.

Study aims

The aim of the research is to develop a comprehensive national picture of specialist voluntary sector services for survivors in England, giving voice to survivors’ service experiences, comparing the range, scope and funding of services, and analysing similarities and differences in how services are delivered and commissioned, in order to make recommendations that will strengthen the service response to survivors.

What will be involved?

Adult survivors of sexual violence and abuse are invited to take part in a focus group (an interview in the form of a group discussion with 6-10 other people) which seeks your views about the services you have used, the ways they could be improved and what the researchers should ask organisations and funders of specialist voluntary sector services. It will take place at RSVP’s city centre premises on Wednesday 19th February 2020, 2.30pm. The group will be women-only and last for approximately one hour and the researchers want to say thank you in the form of a £45 voucher.

You are eligible to participate if:

  • You identify as a survivor of sexual violence or abuse
  • You are 18 years old or over
  • You are female (a men-only focus group is taking place in another part of the country)
  • The sexual violence occurred more than six months ago
  • You have used a voluntary sector specialist service within the last 3 years

If you meet these criteria we would really like to hear from you. To participate, or find out more, please contact:


Sarah Lafford: / 0121 643 0301

From the research team:

Clare Gunby: / 0121 414 3345

Louise Isham: / 0121 414 8591

If you would like to take part but don’t want to take part in a group discussion, or are male, please get in contact with the researcher who will arrange a different way to hear your views.

Posted 21 November 2019

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