01702 667590 INFO@SOSRC.ORG.UK

WOMEN

SOUTHEND-ON-SEA | ROCHFORD | CASTLE POINT

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

SERVICES FOR WOMEN

WHAT IS CONSENT?

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:

WHAT IS SEXUAL VIOLENCE?

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
  • female genital mutilation
  • 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.

WOMEN’S COUNSELLING

Our specialised Sexual Violence Counsellors provide confidential, specialist support to women 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 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.  If often feels 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.

WOMEN’S INDEPENDENT SEXUAL ADVOCACY (ISVA) & WOMEN’S SUPPORT

Sexual abuse and violence can have a big impact on your life. If you are aged 18 and over, SOS Rape Crisis Women’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 to access 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 Rape Crisis worker will get in touch with you.

SUPPORTING ACTIVITIES FOR YOU:

SOSRC FUNDERS