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  1. We’re recruiting: Refugee and asylum seeker support worker

    We are recruiting a part-time support worker to work 8 hours a week from our office in central Birmingham. The role will provide vital practical and crisis support to refugees and asylum seekers affected by sexual violence and abuse.

    The deadline for applications is Sunday 23rd April 2017, 5pm. Please email applications to

    Please download and read all the below documents so you have all the information you need to make your application.

    Cover letter

    Application Form

    Person Specification

    Job description

    If you would like to discuss this vacancy further, please contact Anjella Darcy or Sarah Lafford on 0121 643 0301 /

    Posted 22 March 2017
  2. Women and Sexism in the Rock and Metal Industry

    Women and Sexism in the Rock and Metal Industry event is a joint collaboration between the University of Birmingham Rock Society and Women’s Association in light of National Women’s History month. We will be looking at how women are presented in the rock and metal music industry, in terms of female fronted bands or lack of, women behind the scenes and also sexual harassment at gigs.

     The event will be a series of short talks and presentations from a number of guest speakers, such as music academics Dr Asya Draganova and Jasmine Shadrack, members of progressive groove metal band Aramantus, current student and writer Rosie Solomon, the Not On Campaign and the organiser and President of the Rock Society, Anna Pitts.

    There hasn’t been an event of this kind done before by the Rock Society and as the first female president of the society in a long time I felt responsible to raise awareness of these issues that affect women in the industry. I came up with the idea for this event as I’m very passionate about the topic of women and sexism within the rock and metal genre and I feel that these issues are rarely discussed. Also, I had spoken to a lot of female students who had experienced these issues at gigs and it becomes a norm to just brush off sexual harassment in this environment which is not right.

     I’ve chosen to collect donations for RSVP as it is a charity that is directly relevant to helping people who have experienced sexual harassment, assault and rape such as we will be discussing at the event, in the context of music gigs and festivals. Also, the work the charity does is so vital and I thought it was important to raise awareness of the support available and to reduce the stigma around speaking out about the issue of sexual assault which was one of the main reasons for organising the event. Finally, as RSVP is a local charity I wanted the event to give back and help our local community in Birmingham, especially with the recent targeting and sexual assault of female students around the Selly Oak area.

     The event will be taking place on Saturday 18th March, 6-8pm in the Rosa Parks room of the Guild of Students at University of Birmingham.  Find out more at: 

    Posted 17 March 2017
  3. ‘Take me out’ at Aston University

    Thank you to Sultana Rahmen and her friends at Aston University who organised their own unique version of ‘Take Me Out’ and raised almost £500 for RSVP.

    You can read Sultana’s entertaining blog post about the evening at:

    Posted 16 March 2017
  4. The internet in the therapeutic space

    Below is an extract of a blog from Catherine Knibbs on internet use, social media and devices and the ethical questions that arise from counsellors in the therapeutic space.

    There are many approaches and guidelines around how to use equipment you find in the kitchen. Call them directions, user guides or instructions, aka destructions in my household as no one ever reads them. Therein lies the problem…#skimming or #ignoring or #doesntapplytome (I’m using hashtags # to highlight the fact that this can be trend/pattern.

    So if there was indeed a user guide for cyberspace would you ignore it? Skim over it? Throw it in the bin or digest every ounce of the contents? Did you know a document such as this actually exists for counsellors and psychotherapists and has done for a while?

    That’s the one. Have you read it? What do you think about it, what are your reflections and what rights do you think you have for using your social media accounts as you see fit? What do you think about your clients and their social media usage?

    Do you have rights? Do your clients? What might these be? What do you expect from the sites and applications (programs) that you use when it comes to privacy, harassment, location services and your right to express yourself as a human being on the Internet?

    Ethical dilemma after ethical dilemma right?

    What about the question that can often go unnoticed… What happens about your past or your opinions of today becoming your future? (or future past for that matter)

    What effect will this have on you or your clients?

    I have deliberately put questions forward in this article to get you thinking. Please feel free to feedback and let’s open this up for debate, I’m sure you will be surprised at both your response and others too. (I should also insert a comment about trolling and respect for each other, however the point is exactly that- – you never know the response that will occur after posting).

    Now onto working with clients who bring technology into the room, again what rights do you have a counsellor to insist that the device is turned off or not brought into your room? Why would this be ethical or unethical? Do you know about geolocation and tagging? (go and google these terms if you’re not sure)

    Would this have an effect on your practice? Do you have a right to have your device in the room?

    What about access to the Internet? What about the content a client may show you that is on their phone? (Think #sexting and #underageconsent). Do you know enough about the internet to know what  apps are safe, underage, ethical, secret or indeed coercive?

    Read the rest of Catherine’s blog on her website

    Catherine will be discussing these questions and more at the Cybertrauma training on Wednesday 8th March.

    Posted 23 February 2017
  5. We’re recruiting volunteer counsellors

    If you’re a qualified or student counsellor, you could make a huge difference to the lives of survivors of sexual violence by joining RSVP as a volunteer. You will be fully supported by a professional team and be part of a unique, specialised service in central Birmingham.

    Counsellors support survivors of any kind of sexual violence, including rape, childhood sexual abuse, forced prostitution and sexual assault.

    There are 12 spaces available. The deadline for applications is Sunday 19th March, and should be sent via email to

    More information, including interview and training dates, and the application form are in the links below.



    To discuss further, contact Maria Dillon or Katie Simpson, Team Leaders on 0121 643 0301

    Posted 15 February 2017
  6. Sexual Violence Awareness Week 6th February 2017 – 12th February 2017

    Image result for sexual violence awareness week

    This week has been recognised to give survivors, supporters, the general public and organisations the opportunity to share their views and generate discussion on sexual abuse and sexual violence.

    During this week we hope to raise awareness about sexual abuse and sexual violence and how to help prevent it. Please follow the link below to see some more shares and discussions and even join in yourself.

    Posted 8 February 2017
  7. Thank you to the People’s Postcode Lottery

    RSVP have been awarded £18,818 from the People’s Postcode Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. A huge thank you to the trust and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. The funds will be used to create self-help support and resources for survivors of sexual abuse.

    There is a great need for therapeutic support that has lasting impact on the wellbeing of survivors. Self-help techniques ensure increased wellbeing that is sustainable as survivors have the tools, techniques and emotional literacy to cope in the future.

    We will create a package of written self-help information, available online and in print on topics and issues important to survivors. We will also deliver a programme of group support, where survivors can receive peer support.

    Posted 8 February 2017
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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