01702 667590 INFO@SOSRC.ORG.UK




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



Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says "yes" to sexual activity with other persons. Consent is always freely given and all people in a sexual situation must feel that they are able to say "yes" or "no" or stop the sexual activity at any point.

Consent is never assumed

Each of us is responsible for making sure we have consent in every sexual situation. If you are unsure, it is important to clarify what your partner feels about the sexual situation before initiating or continuing the sexual activity. Consent should not simply be assumed by:

  • Body language, Appearance, or Non-Verbal Communication: One should never assume by the way a person dresses, smiles, looks or acts, that they to have sex with you.
  • Dating relationships or previous sexual activity: Simply because two or more people are dating or have had sex in the past does not mean that they are consenting to have sex with you.
  • Marriage/Partnership: A person should not assume they have consent for sexual activity.
  • Previous Activity: Consent to engage in one sexual activity at one time is not consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage in the same sexual activity on a later occasion.
  • Silence, Passivity, Lack of Resistance, or immobility: A person’s silence should not be considered consent. A person who does not respond to attempts to engage in sexual activity, even if they do not verbally say no or resist physically, is not clearly agreeing to sexual activity.
  • Incapacitation: Alcohol consumption or use of other drugs can render a person incapable of giving consent. Alcohol is often used as a weapon to target individuals and is used by perpetrators to excuse their own actions.

Watch this video about consent:


Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. There are many different kinds of sexual violence, including but not restricted to:

  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • child sexual abuse
  • sexual harassment
  • rape within marriage/relationships
  • forced marriage
  • so-called honour-based violence
  • trafficking
  • sexual exploitation
  • ritual abuse


Sexual violence can be perpetrated by a complete stranger, or by someone known and even trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner. Sexual violence can happen to anyone. No-one ever deserves or asks for it to happen.

100% of the responsibility for any act of sexual violence lies with its perpetrator. There is no excuse for sexual violence; it can never be justified, it can never be explained away and there is no context in which it is valid, understandable or acceptable.

If you have been raped or experienced any other kind of sexual violence, no matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were saying, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, it was not your fault and you did not deserve this.


Our specialised Sexual Violence Counsellors provide confidential, specialist support to men aged 18 years and above who have suffered any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives. (If you are under 18 years old and want support you can visit our Young Person’s Section).
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 male survivors gain a clearer understanding of themselves and their situation.
Counselling does not bring with it the promise of total happiness. There will be other issues and situations in a survivor’s life that can and will cause pain.  Nor does it offer the possibility of being able to forget all about the abuse.
What it offers is 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 can often feel like it gets worse before it gets better—but it is important to remember, it will get easier.
Counselling support is also available for family and spouses.  If you would like more information please ring our office or make an online referral and a Rape Crisis Worker will be in touch with you.


What is Pre Trial Therapy?

Pre Trial Therapy is counselling that is offered to a victim or witness while the criminal justice process is on-going and a trial may be possible.

From the point when you report what happened to the police to the time when all court proceedings are complete, SOS Rape Crisis can offer a limited style of counselling to ensure that you feel emotionally supported whilst also trying not influencing the evidence you would give in court.

How is it different from other counselling?

Before you give evidence in court you are requested not to discuss your testimony with anyone in any details.  As a result of this, in pre-trial therapy you should not talk about anything that is in your police statement or maybe relevant to the case.

This usually means that you should not talk about the event for which you have come to SOS Rape Crisis for support which can feel like the ‘elephant in the room’.  You and your SOS Rape Crisis counsellor will decide in the first session what you will use the counselling for so that it can still be helpful for you.

What can I use it for?

Just like other SOS Rape Crisis counselling, you will see the same therapist at regular appointments.

You can talk about what you are thinking and feeling at the moment and work on making changes, for example: to your self-esteem or within relationships.

You can work on coping strategies for dealing with what happened to you and talk about the impact it has had on you, as long as you don’t talk about the specific memories.

You can talk about any worries you have about the police or court process and this will be passed onto your assigned ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) so that she can support and talk you through the Criminal Justice Process.

Pre-trial counselling is often used to deal with emotional distress in day to day life during the Criminal Justice process.  You may reach a point where you feel you cannot make any more progress or feel any better without talking through what happened, when this is the case you can bring this to your therapists attention and then share your concerns regarding the case with your assigned ISVA.

Why can’t I talk about what happened with my SOS Rape Crisis counsellor?

If you go over what has happened in counselling it could be argued that you have been ‘coached’ about what to say in court.  This could have an effect upon the way your evidence is viewed by the Court and the outcome of the trial.

What if it is decided by the Authorities that no further action will be taken regarding my report to the police?

Work with your therapist will continue under the guide of the SOS Rape Crisis Counselling Agreement with an offer of up to 20 therapeutic counselling sessions available to you.

Will my notes be used in court?

Though it happens very rarely, it is possible that we could receive a request from the prosecutor or a court order saying we must disclose your counselling records.  If this were to happen, the prosecution would need to release the information to the defence lawyer – this means that the suspect may have access to some of these notes in these rare cases.  SOS Rape Crisis counselling notes are only factual and any information shared will be with signed consent by you for example: dates and times of face to face sessions attended.   There is a possibility that this information may be used as evidence in court.

What about after the trial?

Once the court process has ended you will be closed to your ISVA within a 4-6 week period to tie up anything still related to the Criminal Justice System.  Your SOS Rape Crisis counselling will continue until you have completed your 20 sessions.  There may be occasion to extend the number of sessions beyond 20 sessions – this will  be an informed decision by the Senior Sexual Violence Counsellor at SOS Rape Crisis.


Sexual abuse and violence can have a big impact on your life. If you are aged 18 and over, SOS Rape Crisis Men’s Advocacy is available to support you by working through the wider issues that are a result of the sexual violence. (If you are under 18 years old and would like support please look at our Young Person’s Section
The role of SOS Rape Crisis Women’s Support and Advocacy 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. If you would like more information please ring our office or make an online referral and a Rape Crisis Worker will be in touch with you.