Thanks to funding received from Essex County Council, Synergy Essex is piloting a new service providing specialist rape and sexual violence/abuse counselling for people who have experienced domestic abuse.  Referrals to this new service will normally be offered counselling within three weeks of referral.

Due to funding restrictions, to be eligible for this service, victims and survivors must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Be either:
  • Adult victims and survivors of rape or sexual violence/abuse as part of their experience of domestic abuse.
  • Children who have experienced sexual abuse as part of domestic abuse, or have witnessed, or been impacted by, sexual violence within domestic abuse.
  1. Wish to access specialist counselling in relation to the sexual violence they have experienced within domestic abuse.

  3. Have resided in refuge or dispersed accommodation in the Essex County Council area after the 29th April 2021 when the new DA duties came into place.  Accommodation types are as follows:
  • Refuge accommodation.
  • Dispersed accommodation [1] – either supported or semi-independent.
  • Residing in their own home as part of a Sanctuary Scheme [2] or similar.


[1] Dispersed accommodation is self-contained accommodation, which is safe, secure and dedicated to supporting victims of domestic abuse.

[2] A Sanctuary Scheme enables victims of domestic abuse to remain in their own homes, where it is safe for them to do so, where it is their choice, and where the perpetrator does not live in the accommodation, by providing additional security measures.


SOS Rape Crisis policy is not to provide support to people who disclose, or have been accused of or investigated for sexual or violent offences.  However, in exceptional circumstances, the centre may decide to offer support to clients who fall into this category.   Decisions on whether support will be offered will be made on a case-by-case basis, and will be at the discretion of the centre.