01702 667590 INFO@SOSRC.ORG.UK



email: info@sosrc.org.uk | call: 01702 667590


SOS Rape Crisis is part of the Essex Rape Crisis Partnership. The Partnership is made up of three centres SOS Rape Crisis, SERICC, and CARA.

SOS Rape which covers the areas of Southend on Sea, Castle Point, and Rochford is an accredited member of National Rape Crisis England and Wales. This means that the services we provide to survivors and relatives of survivors are to a quality assured standard.

SOS Rape Crisis receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

SOS Rape Crisis, a group of volunteers and staff based in Southend, Rochford and Castle Point have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Representatives from SOS Rape Crisis attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

SOS Rape Crisis is one of 281 charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.


Our Vision

An organisation dedicated to supporting women and girls who have survived sexual violence in our community.

Our Ethos

SOS Rape Crisis is a feminist organisation.  We advocate the rights and equality of women and girls and work on the basis that sexual violence is a fundamental infringement of a women’s human rights.

We reject the myths surrounding rape and sexual violence, which only make it harder for survivors to deal with their experiences and seek help.  A woman is never to blame for being raped.

It is our core belief that sexual violence is preventable.  By challenging the social and cultural norms that contribute to sexual violence through education and awareness raising we can reduce violence against women.

Gender-based violence requires a gender-specific response.  We take a women-centred approach, putting women at the centre, responding to her individual needs and advocating wider social change.

We believe that sexual violence against women and girls is both a cause and a consequence of a deep-rooted gender inequality in our society, which denies women equal rights with men.  Sexual violence against women feeds off this discrimination and service to reinforce it.  It is an abuse of power and control.  There is an inherent imbalance of power between men and women within our society and when a woman is abused, this imbalance is both manifested and reinforced.

The service that we provide will be in response to what women and girls say they want or need, and empower women to have greater control and choice in their lives.  We are a pro-choice organisation respecting a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her life, her body, her sexuality and her lifestyle.

We seek to work with all women in ways that demonstrate quality, respect, and care; to be an organisation that is accepting of difference (disability, race, sexuality, class, background, faith, lifestyle etc) and to be non-judgmental.  We work to provide information resources that can be used by all women to help themselves.

We are a pro-woman organisation, not anti-man.  We respect women’s relationships with men and recognise and support men’s actions to redress their own society’s oppression of women.

A high-quality service—effective management which values and supports its staff and volunteers enables us to provide a high-quality support service to women and children in the local area.  Through the provision of information, support and counselling by appropriately skilled staff in a safe and confidential environment we can help women to move forward and take control of their lives.

Survivors voice—we encourage a woman to speak about her experiences; we listen without judgment and believe her story.  We take a survivor-led approach; we will not attempt to advise, direct or persuade.

Empowerment—we believe in empowering the survivor.  She is the expert on what is the best way to deal with and move on from her experience.  We will respect her choices and support her in her decisions.

A gender-specific response—our services are run by women for women in a safe, women-only space.  We believe that this is the most appropriate and helpful environment for the women and girls we support.


Our staff member at SOS Rape Crisis include:

Service Manager
Referral and Information Coordinator
Specialised Sexual Violence Counsellors
Specialised Young Persons and Children’s Play Therapists
Women and Men Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs)
Children’s Independence Sexual Violence Advocates (CHISVAs)
Groups Facilitators for Young People and Adults


Women and Men Advocacy (ISVA)

Sexual abuse and violence can have a big impact on your life. If you are aged 18 and over, SOS Rape Crisis Women and Men’s Advocacy is available to support you by working through the wider issues that are a result of the sexual violence.
The role of SOS Rape Crisis Women’s Support and Advocacy (ISVA) worker is to address the safety of survivors of sexual abuse.
Our ISVA’s work in partnership with Criminal and Civil Justice agencies, health services, the voluntary sector as well as Victim & Witness Services.
Our ISVAs provide emotional and practical support and are a single point of contact for survivors who access Police Services and those who choose not to.
The Women’s Support and ISVAs workers are trained to look after a survivors needs.
Our ISVAs can give survivors knowledge and information about the legal process and their rights, find out what their practical needs are such as housing and benefits needs, and assist them to identify what kind of support is required.

Specialised One to One Counselling

Our specialised Sexual Violence Counsellors provide confidential, specialist support to women and men aged 18 years and above who have suffered any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives.
Our Specialised Counselling is free and can be offered through ‘face to face’ or telephone support.
Counselling appointments are with the same counsellor and up to 20 sessions will be offered to support survivors.
Counselling at our Centre provides a safe space that helps survivors gain a clearer understanding of themselves and their situation.
Counselling offers the ability to accept the abuse and live with it as part of their lives.
They will never forget the abuse but they will remember it with less acute pain.
As time goes by, survivors will be able to recognise their own patterns and to feel and interpret their own emotions.
They may have to face things that they do not want to face and make changes that are very hard to make or see things in a different way.
One of the first things to be learned in counselling is that it is healthy to have feelings.
At times survivors feel like running away or forgetting all about it, this is a normal part of the counselling process. It often feels like it gets worse before it gets better—but it is important to remember, it will get easier.


At SOS Rape we have Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advocates, you may hear people refer to these workers as CHISVA’s which is the short version for their proper name.

A CHISVA’s role is:

  • To deliver advocacy and support service to you if you are aged 17 years and under.
  • To help you access appropriate therapeutic interventions and to develop your own support network through internal or external referral processes.
  • To provide emotional and practical support through the criminal justice system and beyond as necessary.
  • To empower you to be able to share their thoughts and feelings with your carers and professionals working with them.
  • To risk assess and help you keep safe, including preparing personal safety plans in conjunction with professionals working you.
  • To consider and respond to safeguarding issues raised about you or someone you might know and support you with liaising with other agencies accordingly.
  • To support you to access your rights.
  • To support you to access health services.
  • To attend relevant multi-agency meetings/panels where appropriate to support meeting your needs and ensuring YOUR voice is heard.
  • To provide information about the impact of sexual violence to you, your carers and other agencies to enable you to understand and better respond to trauma behaviours.

Specialised Children’s Play Therapy

Play therapy recognises that children will not usually communicate their thoughts and feelings verbally in the way adults do. Instead, they use the mediums of play and creative arts to communicate and process their difficulties. Play therapy gives them a safe and confidential space to help them understand their emotional, physical and behavioural responses to the abuse.  Children are never forced to talk about things that make them worried or confused.

Empowerment Groups for Young People

Our Young Persons Worker runs a series of groups for young people to attend. These groups of Girls and Boys bring young people together who have been through similar situations.
It is a safe place to share experiences and advice, which can help young people to see that they are not alone.
Perhaps they think no one will believe them, or that they did something to deserve it.  They may have been threatened.
Maybe they don’t want friends to find out, they want to protect their family or even the person who did this.
The support helps young people to recognise the effects of sexual abuse and the behaviours that may manifest as a result of the abuse.

Parent and Carer Support Groups

SOS Rape Crisis offer Parents and Carers the chance to attend specialised parent groups where they can attend a one off session or a regular basis. These groups are to help parents and carers understand what their children may be experiencing and support them to support their children/dependents in the best way.  After you have attended group we can offer your future counselling support on a one to one basis with a specials sexual violence counsellor.

Our Funders

Ministry Of Justice
Essex Police Crime Commissioner
The Big Lottery
BBC Children In Need
Essex Community Foundation
Lloyds Bank Foundation
The Henry Smith Charity