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  1. It was ‘only’ 200 miles!!

    Exciting news! Our Chief Exec Lisa Thompson has completed the 200 mile GB Ultra run. She started running on Saturday at 6am and completed the run across the Penines (from Southport to Hornsea!) on Tuesday evening. Incredible stuff. She smashed the 100 hour target.

    Watch this space for a debrief from Lisa. For now, we wish her a well deserved, carb-filled- rest!

    Over £3000 has already been raised for RSVP, and there’s still time to donate and show your support both to Lisa and to the work of RSVP supporting survivors of sexual abuse. https://localgiving.org/fundraising/only-200-miles/

     

    Posted 23 August 2017
  2. Changes in pre-charge bail 

    From April 2017 there have been changes in bail following a suspect being arrested – Yvonne Langham, Head of our ISVA Service has written this blog to explain what these changes could mean for you. 

    What is bail?

    For many years most people who were arrested were given bail, written permission from the court for the suspect to be out of police custody.  Bail often had very strict conditions attached.  The bail was given while the investigation continued, and a decision made whether there was enough evidence for a formal charge to be made and a case prepared for trial. This resulted in huge amounts of people being on bail for months or even longer, when many of these cases did not lead to a formal charge being made or a court case. 

    What are the changes? 

    From April 2017 there will be a ‘presumption to release without bail’ anyone who is arrested. This however will not apply if it is ‘necessary and proportionate’ to place the suspect on bail. Necessary in relation to all the facts known about the suspect and the offence, and proportionate in relation to the seriousness of the offence under investigation.    

    What does this mean for you? 

    If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault recently, domestic violence or recent child abuse, it is likely that the suspect will be placed on bail with conditions, as before April 2017. The only difference is that the bail is now time limited. A Police Inspector can authorize a period of 28 days bail and its conditions. Once the 28 days are up and if the investigation is still ongoing, a Superintendent will review the facts of the case and may decide to extend the bail period for up to three months. At the end of that time, if the investigation is still not complete, the police may apply to Magistrates court to extend the bail and its conditions. The Magistrates court must review the facts and agree it is still ‘necessary and proportionate’ for the bail period to be extended. 

    What if bail with conditions are not given in your case? 

    If the suspect in your case is released without bail, there are still things the police can do to protect you.  The suspect could face further charges, such as witness intimidation or harassment, if they threaten or harass you during the investigation period. This means that they could face being arrested again and further charges being brought against them in court. If the suspect bothers you, tell the police about it straight away! You can do this yourself, or by telling an ISVA at RSVP who can make that call for you.   

    Unsure if the suspect in your case is on bail or not? 

    Ask an ISVA at RSVP to find out. We would be happy to contact the police for you. 

    Contact the ISVA Team by calling 0121 643 0301 and selecting option 2, or email us at isva@rsvporg.co.uk. 

    Posted 6 July 2017
  3. Free Legal Clinic.

    Expert sexual abuse lawyers from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors http://www.irwinmitchell.com/personal/personal-injury-compensation/abuse-and-criminal-injury-claims/physical-and-sexual-abuse-claims have teamed up with RSVP to provide free legal advice for survivors we have supported in the past and those currently using our services too. The clinic has now been running for a year and during this time legal support and advice has been provided to a number of survivors.

     

    The aim of the clinics is to offer free legal advice to survivors across a broad range of legal topics, including family law matters, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims and civil claims. Civil claims could be made against an individual who has committed abuse, an organisation responsible for that person (usually an employer) or an organisation that should have taken steps to prevent abuse, but failed – such as social services.

     

    Raman  Dhillon (pictured above) provides free advice alongside emotional and practical support from Yvonne Langham, Head of ISVA Services and our advocacy team.

     

    The legal clinic takes place on the last Friday of every month and it proves to be extremely useful to those who require legal advice, but may not be able to afford it or know where to access this information.

     

    If for any reason you are unable to attend the legal clinic on the last Friday of the month please let Yvonne know on 0121 643 0301 option 2 or yvonne@rsvporg.co.uk and Raman will look into accommodating your enquiry at a more convenient time for you.

     

    The next legal clinic will be on Friday 30 June 2017 between 11:00am and 1:00pm at RSVP offices in central Birmingham. We look forward to seeing you there, no appointment is necessary, just drop in!

    Posted 16 June 2017
  4. Feeling proud!

    RSVP’s specialist LGBT ISVAs Bev & Mark were at Birmingham Pride 26-27 May and had a lovely time embracing diversity & equality while promoting our specialist service for survivors within the LGBT community. Bev & Mark had a stall set up in the marquee with our Umbrella partners sexual health testing team, Birmingham LGBT centre and Swanswell.

     

    We enjoyed watching the parade, celebrating 50 yers since decriminalisation of homeosexuality and seeing all the community groups taking part with the colourful fun spirit of the event.; dancing along to the musical floats as they went passed.

    We watched Zara Sykes perform her latest single The Right which is about violence and sexual abuse.

    Bev was in the women’s arena promoting our services to LBT women, who are currently underrepresented.  We hope we reached out to some of the women present, and that people know our services are there for them if ever they need them.

    The increased security were a comforting reassurance following the terrorist attacks in Manchester & London. The silence in honour of those lives lost was a sombre moment yet the LGBT community continued to celebrate acceptance and diversity against the adversity.

    We hope that everyone had a safe & happy pride, and have reached some of the LGBT community who may now feel more comfortable in accessing support following any sexual violence/abuse.

    Posted 14 June 2017
  5. We’re recruiting helpline volunteers

    We’re having a recruitment frenzy! As well as some exciting new staff vacancies and a number of opportunities to support RSVP as a trustee we are seeking volunteers to support survivors on our telephone helpline.

    The helpline is a vital service, providing compassionate and sensitive support to survivors. We ask that all volunteers commit to a regular shift each week for at least 6 months.   The helpline is open 7 days a week and is based in central Birmingham. You could make a real difference to the lives of survivors.

    Full training will be provided and you’ll be supported by a our experienced and professional team.

    Please download and read the following documents

    Cover letter for helpline applicants

    Training dates

    Role Description Helpline Volunteer

    Helpline application form

    Please complete and return the application form to info@rsvporg.co.uk by 5pm Monday 31st July. If you have any questions about the role, please contact Katie Simpson on 0121 643 0301.

     

     

    Posted 7 June 2017
  6. We’re recruiting Trustees

    We support and inspire people affected by sexual violence and abuse live a future with hope and confidence. If you would like to use your skills and experience at Board level to support our work with survivors, we would love to hear from you.

    There are a number of trustee vacancies open, including the important roles of Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Chair.

    We are looking for women including those from BME backgrounds as these groups are under represented on our Board.  We want active and committed individuals to bolster the skills and experience of the Board, ensuring good governance, strategic planning and financial scrutiny.

    Recruitment documents are below, including specific information for the Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Chair roles.

    Completed applications forms should be returned by email info@rsvporg.co.uk by 5pm on Monday 31st July 2017. If you would like to discuss the roles advertised, please contact RSVP’s Chief Exec Lisa Thompson 0121 643 0301 option 3 / lisa@rsvporg.co.uk

    Please download and read the following documents:

    RSVP Trustee duties and responsibilites

    RSVP trustee vacancies

    Eligibility of Trusteeship

    Nolan Principles (ethical standards for public life)

    About RSVP

    And please download, complete and return the following document:

    Trustee Application and Monitoring Form

     

    Posted 6 June 2017
  7. The Epic Vale Fest!

    ValeFest did it!

    The one day music festival with a difference ‘ValeFest 2017’ was held on Saturday June 3rd. This fabulous musical extravaganza is run once a year from the Vale at Birmingham University primarily to raise funds for charity. This year we were ecstatic and extremely grateful to be one of the two chosen charities, Basic Needs being the other.

    The whole festival with its main and smaller stages, acoustic tent and comedy stage, amongst other things too, was organised by around 30 students. They volunteered their own time to pull together this vibrant, enjoyable and amazing day, while completing their degrees at the same time too! They showed how a group of dedicated people can achieve absolutely huge things when they collectively rally their energy, time and determination.

    Fiona from our advocacy team and Lisa our CEO were delighted to attend the festival and join in the fun. Fiona chatted to students and passed on information about RSVP from our stall. Lisa recorded a piece for Burn FM radio, was filmed for Guild TV and even read out a Vagina Monologue appearing with our ongoing supporters Infinity Stage Company highlighted here in a past blog: http://www.rsvporg.co.uk/blog/infinity-stage-company-make-rsvp-their-charity-of-the-year/

    The monologue was about consent and respect and we will write more about this in a later blog. Afterwards Lisa spoke on the main stage to let the 4,000 plus festival goers know about the services that RSVP offers. She also wanted everyone to know how enormously grateful we were for their support.

    This year the vibrant day finished with a celebration that they had raised a record breaking amount for their charities. Although ValeFest are still confirming the exact amounts they have said that last years figure of £32,000 was smashed! This means that there will be an even bigger, colossal and unbelievable amount of funding raised to share between us and Basic Needs.

    We want to say an enormous thank you for the kindness, support and generosity of ValeFest organisers and ticket holders.  As an independent and local charity we raise every penny ourselves to provide empathic support to people affected by sexual abuse and violence. We would like to extend our gratitude and love to everyone from ValeFest 2017, you truly are fantastic, you really are!

    Posted 5 June 2017
  8. We are recruiting

    We are recruiting into a number of new vacancies. RSVP is a long established and well respected specialist charity supporting children and adults of all genders following rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. 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!

    Please read below to find out more about the vacancies and to download application documents.

     

    Advocate For Female Sex Workers x 2

    Hours Of Work: 19 hours per week (negotiable to include late night working)

    Salary: £23,398 unqualified / £24,964 qualified + 1-3% employer pension contribution

    RSVP are looking to recruit two advocates to work with female sex workers. The role will require you to provide a high quality and victim/survivor-focused advocacy service to female sex workers who have been subjected to or are at risk of sexual violence, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and/or sexual coercion. The advocate will be part of the RSVP  team and will also work as part of the West Midlands Sexual Violence and Abuse Consortium’s regional team delivering outreach support for women in sex work. The role requires some unsociable working hours, including late nights, and some travel around the West Midlands area. A valid driving license and use of own vehicle is essential.

    This post is open to women only (Exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1).

    ‘Supported by the Tampon Tax Fund’

    Download the Advocate job description and person specification

    Download the Advocate application form

    Deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 28th June 2017. Please email applications to info@rsvporg.co.uk

     

    Group Counsellor

    Hours Of Work: 13 hours per week, Tuesday 9.30am-4.00pm and Thursday 2pm-8.30pm

    Salary: £24,174.00 pro rata + 1-3% employer pension contribution

    RSVP are looking for a female Group Counsellor to deliver a counselling therapy group, in a safe and therapeutic way, to meet the needs of women affected by rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse. The therapeutic group will enable survivors to decrease their sense of isolation and help them to establish safe and supportive relationships and networks with other survivors. The group will support survivors to feel empowered to participate in their own healing and recovery. You will have experience of therapeutic group work and a knowledge of the impact of sexual violence on survivors.

    This post is open to women only (Exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1).

    Download the Job description and person specification

    Download the Group Counsellor Application form

    Deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 28th June 2017. Please email applications to info@rsvporg.co.uk

    Specialist Trainer

    Hours Of Work: 20 hours per week
    Salary:
    £22,658 pro rata + 1-3% employer pension contribution

    We are recruiting a trainer with specialist knowledge in sexual abuse and sexual violence.  The successful candidate will train professionals across sexual health services in Birmingham and Solihull to improve understanding of, and responses to, sexual abuse, exploitation and coercion. You will have an understanding of the effects of trauma and be able to share this understanding to ensure that survivors’ voices are heard and they have access to safe, confidential and compassionate services.

    Download the Specialist Trainer job description and person specification

    Download the Specialist Trainer application form

    Deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 28th June 2017. Please email applications to info@rsvporg.co.uk

     

     

     

    Posted 30 May 2017
  9. Three Girls and More

    The BBC are tackling child sexual exploitation this week in their compelling and hard-hitting new drama ‘Three Girls.’  The series will  be shown on consecutive nights from Tuesday 16th May to Thursday 18th May from 9pm to 10pm on BBC1. The three part series is based on the true stories of over a thousand children who were victims/survivors of grooming, sexual exploitation and trafficking in Rochdale between 1997 and 2013. It is made with the involvement and cooperation of the victims/survivors and their families as they wanted other people to hear and understand their experiences. The girls found they were drawn and groomed into a world that they could not escape, despite pleas for help; they were also failed by authorities which were responsible for their protection.

     

    Sadly, children like Ruby, Holly and Amber, the ‘Three Girls’ of the series title are still out there – often traumatised, alone, vulnerable, voiceless and confused. NSPCC figures suggest that 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused and 1 in 3 of these never tell anybody.

     

    This must stop.  At RSVP our mission statement is ‘a world free from sexual abuse and violence.’  Last year we supported 5,330 children, young adults and adults of all genders and anticipate that this year the number of people needing our services will increase. Our vital services give hope and confidence so people can survive and thrive despite the distressing sexual trauma they have been through.

     

    If you are a survivor of recent or non-recent sexual exploitation or sexual abuse please get in touch, you can find more about how our services can help you. We are here for you and we believe you – http://www.rsvporg.co.uk/services/

     

    Finally, if you have been moved by watching ‘Three Girls’ please consider supporting RSVP and our work, there are many ways you can help us, some of which won’t even cost you a penny. Find out more here: http://www.rsvporg.co.uk/support-us/support-us/

    Posted 16 May 2017
  10. Arts with Hearts Crafty Summer

    Arts with Hearts will be selling their crafty creations at a number of events over the coming months.  Confirmed so far are:

    20th MaySt Martin in the Bull Ring, 10am – 4.30pm
    24th JuneBournville Village Festival, Cadbury Recreation
    Ground, Bournville, 2pm – 8pm
    1st JulyCoCoMAD, Cotteridge Park, from 12 noon

    A wide range of craft items, all hand-made by survivors of
    sexual violence and abuse and their supporters, will be
    available – all at good prices.

    Please come along and support us!  All proceeds of our stalls go toward the work of RSVP.

    Posted 8 May 2017