Our service expands to support men and children

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We are so pleased to announce that our services are now fully expanded and available to men and children aged 11 years and over.

Previously we have been unable offer services to men and to women under 16 years due to funding restraints, however thanks to a pot of funding from the Home Office we are now able to launch our male and children and young people’s services.

This is something that we have been trying to achieve for some time, in April 2013 we were lucky to be successful in funding applications to the local PCC and Children in Need which enabled us to expand our ISVA service to men and children aged 11 years and over. We have been very eager to expand our counselling and helpline services to provide a comparable level of support and are extremely happy that this has now happened.

For further information or support please call our helpline on 01905 724514 (Worcestershire) or 01432 344777 (Herefordshire) or email counselling@wmrsasc.org.uk.

Services for women will continue to be provided in a female only setting in order to ensure all clients feel safe and secure when they come to visit us.

Pound the Bounds fundraising walk

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Staff, volunteers and friends of the organisation will be walking to raise money for West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre on Sunday, May 4th 2014.

‘Pound the Bounds’ was first held in 2000 and more walkers join in every year. The routes take walkers through all kinds of terrain including woodland, pasture, riverside and meadow.

Our fundraisers will be tackling the nine mile route and would welcome any sponsorship and donations, however small (or large!)

Please click on the link www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/boundpounders to make an online donation, all proceeds go to WMRSASC.

Volunteers Needed!

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We are looking for volunteers in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area who have fundraising and / or PR and marketing experience and would like to donate some of their expertise to helping our organisation. 

All volunteers must attend our 30 hour nationally accredited training course prior to any work being carried out at, or on behalf of, the Centre.

For further information or an application pack please contact our main office on 01905 611655 or email joanne.moores@wrsasc.org.uk.

The Courage To Be Me: a free online illustrated book about life after sexual abuse

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The book tells the story of a group of women who are beginning to rebuild their lives after sexual abuse. The aim of the book is to help people better understand rape myths, dissociation, trauma and shame using the compassion and simplicity that comes with cartoons. The author’s hope is that it will help people understand the journey that someone who has experienced abuse needs to go on – whether that journey is their own journey or the journey of someone they love.

Information about the book can be found here: http://ninaburrowes.com/index.php/books/the-courage-to-be-me/

You can read the first chapter here: http://ninaburrowes.com/index.php/books/the-courage-to-be-me/chapter-1/

and you can read the second chapter here: http://ninaburrowes.com/index.php/books/the-courage-to-be-me/chapter-2/

New website to help victims of domestic and sexual violence in Worcestershire

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The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence will launch a new and improved website to further support local victims.

The new website – www.worcestershiredomesticandsexualabuse.co.uk – will be officially launched on Thursday 20 June, offering help and guidance to women, children and men, providing a one-stop shop of local services and helplines.

Martin Lakeman, Strategic Co-ordinator for The Forum explained : “The key theme running through our new website is to ensure that victims are aware of the range of specialist services / agencies that can provide both advice and support at what is a most traumatic time.  Encouraging victims to come forward and seek advice is critical in tackling these frightening issues; we hope that visitors to the website will be able to find the strength to contact the many agencies that are here to help.”

The site will be promoted via two postcards which will be distributed across Worcestershire in places such as libraries, schools, doctor’s surgeries.

Easy to navigate, the new website includes information on the following :

  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Children and young people
  • Forced marriage
  • Stalking
  • Support services
  • Worrying behaviour
  • Keeping safe
  • Internet safety

Martin added “a key element of the site is a section devoted to survivor stories. It is vital that people suffering in silence realise they are not alone”.

For further information about The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse please contact Martin Lakeman on 01905 822 357.

Postgraduate Certificate for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors

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The University of Worcester is pleased to announce the new training dates for the Postgraduate Certificate for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors. The training course will be run in conjunction with the West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre.

The overall aim of the course is to give students a deep knowledge of the different forms of sexual violence, the theoretical perspectives on causation and the impact of it but particularly to give students the skills to undertake the ISVA role effectively and professionally.

Though this is a Postgraduate course, those wishing to apply do not have to have achieved education at degree level. This course is open to anyone who:

  • Has relevant practical experience as an ISVA i.e. anyone who is currently working as an ISVA
  • Has relevant practical experience in the sector and would like to undertake the course as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) i.e. anyone who is currently working in the sexual violence sector
  • Anyone who would like to train to become an ISVA
  • Is educated to degree level
  • Has an alternative professional qualification in an appropriate area

The course structure is modular, consisting of 3 successive modules that are designed around the necessary knowledge and understanding required for the ISVA role and centred on National Occupational Standards (NOS).

For further information please click on the following link

ISVA FLYER 2013-14


For an application form or for more information, please contact Dr Ruth Jones – the University of Worcester Programme lead for Domestic and Sexual Violence – by telephone: 01905 855000 ext 2355 or email: r.jones@worc.ac.uk

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme

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Threats to a child’s safety are more likely to originate from a family member or a friend of a family than a complete stranger.  Around 75 per cent of child sex offenders are related to or known to their victim.  The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme has been developed to respond to this.

The scheme allows members of the public – parents, carers, guardians or interested third parties – to ask the police to tell them about a person’s record of child sex offences if they are concerned about that person’s access to a child.

The police already disclose information about registered sex offenders and violent offenders in a controlled way to a variety of people, including headteachers, leisure centre managers, employers, landlords and parents.  The disclosure scheme is an additional tool that the police can use to keep children safe.

Since the scheme was launched by West Mercia Police in August 2010, the force has received hundreds of enquiries from the public, more than 100 of which were taken forward as formal applications and 16 disclosures were made (figures up to end of March 2012).  Three further disclosures were made about other information relevant to safeguarding children. 

For more information please visit the West Mercia Police website http://www.westmercia.police.uk/child-sex-offender-disclosure-scheme/

Opening of the Herefordshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre

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The doors to the Herefordshire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre were officially opened on the 17th November 2011 at a launch event held at Hereford City Town Hall.

Chief Officer Jocelyn Anderson welcomed everyone to the event and introduced guest speakers Det. Supt. Ivan Powell (West Mercia Police), Val Lunn (National Development Officer, Rape Crisis England & Wales), Dr Ruth Jones (Senior Lecturer, Researcher & Consultant, University of Worcester) and Nick Ross (Policy Advisor, Victim & Witness Unit, Criminal Justice Services Directorate).

Our thanks go to our many partnership agencies for helping to make the event such a success.

DS Ivan Powell, Jocelyn Anderson, Mayor Cllr Julie Woodward, Lord Lieutenant Lady Darnley & Cllr Olwyn Barnett

West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre is proud to announce the launch of Herefordshire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre.

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A year ago Worcestershire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre changed it’s charitable status from being a registered charity to being a charitable company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (charity no 1136677, company no 07083844).  This means that we’re still a registered charity recognised by the Charity Commission, but we now have slightly different governing documents which both enable us to work more effectively and safeguard the organisation more appropriately in the modern age.

We also made the decision to become West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre so that we could begin to expand our service to a wider area.  We had been aware of a gap in service provision in our neighbouring county of Herefordshire and really wanted to be able to offer a support service to women in the area, something which our previous governing documents had prevented us from doing.

We continue to operate as Worcestershire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre within the Worcestershire area, providing the same high quality service that has been operating continuously for the last 25 years.  Under our new governing documents we were also able to begin to expand into Herefordshire and provide much needed support, evidenced by the amount of referrals that we’d been receiving by our partner agencies, and in 2010 we initiated the founding of Herefordshire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre.

Earlier this year Herefordshire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre was named by the Ministry of Justice as one of four newly emerging rape crisis centres in England to be given funding and this has enabled us to begin the establishment of a comparable support service to the one we provide in Worcestershire.  It has been a hectic few months but we are pleased to announce that we are now open.

Many thanks to our partner agencies for their support and special thanks to Here4Women who allowed us to use their premises and supported us when we were in the infancy of formation.

Please visit www.hrsasc.org.uk for more information and contact details.

Drinking Is Not A Crime Campaign

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This is our campaign which ran throughout Worcestershire and Herefordshire, you may have seen it on the side of a bus, in the Vue Cinema or in a pub or club. Thanks to Rape Crisis Scotland for the original artwork, to Tim Corbyn for redesigning it for us free of charge for Worcestershire and to Sharon Amery for redesigning the Herefordshire version.