It is truly amazing to consider, but DRCSAS celebrated its 5th birthday as a specialist agency last week.
Volunteers, staff, trustees and patrons came together to celebrate the achievements of our first five years together.
There was an incredible atmosphere, as you’d expect from an organisation full of committed women; a real pride in the organisation we have built together and the quality and effectiveness of the service we provide.
Music was provided by Emily Jukes-Roblyn, cookery by the Exeter cookery school and the auctioneer for the evening, presiding over some very generous donations, was our patron Anna Walker MBE.
Special thanks to Stephens Scown LLP whose donation paid for the buffet.
** SOLD OUT **
Thursday 1st December 6.30pm – 9pm at Exeter Community Centre, 17 St Davids Hill, Exeter, EX4 3RG. All welcome.
This is a Free event however you will need to book your ticket through Eventbrite: https://lets-talk-about-sexual-abuse.eventbrite.com
Come along and meet Dr Nina Burrowes a psychologist who helps people understand the psychology of sexual abuse - why it happens, what the impact is, and how we can reduce the prevalence. Nina is the author of 'The courage to be me' an illustrated book about life after abuse. On the evening there will be opportunity to ask your questions directly or submit them anonymously in a relaxed atmosphere.
We have 3 events within the 16 days please see below:
Sex and Intimacy after Sexual Abuse – a training day for Counsellors, Therapists & Practitioners
A training day with Dr Nina Burrowes for counsellors, psychotherapists, practitioners, workers and volunteers from statutory and third sector organisations who support people who have experienced sexual violence.
Creativity Day – part of Exeter Reclaim the Night – Saturday 3rd December 10am – 2pm Exeter Phoenix.
Join us for this FREE drop in event and help prepare for Reclaim the Night – we will be making placards, decorating T-shirts, lanterns and creating a large community banner.
Also there will be a story teller and the opportunity to volunteer as a marshal for the evening event and help raise awareness of violence towards women and girls. All welcome and family friendly.
Exeter Reclaim the Night – Thursday 8th December 6pm at St Sidwell Community Centre Exeter
For a 6.30pm march through the streets and returning to St Sidwells for refreshments, speakers and entertainment. Bring your voices, banners, family and friends – All Welcome. FREE event.
Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE) and Local Feminist groups have joined forces again to make this year another large, visible protest about sexual violence.
Thanks to Julien Parrott and Sue Powell for their generous donation of £500 to support one of our volunteers in their work for a year.
Julien is a Torbay councillor holding the portfolio for Adult and Children’s Safeguarding and has a keen interest in the gendered nature of sexual violence and the work of our organisation.
We are moved, once again by the thoughtfulness and commitment of individuals in Devon.
We were delighted to receive a call out of the blue from the Whistlestop Cafe in August. The cafe at Teignmouth Railway Station hosts a weekly night for local bikers and holds a collection each week. We'd never had any contact with the Whistlestop or bikers before so it really was a surprise to be told they'd raised £120 for us.
We're not an obvious charity to most people because rape and childhood sexual abuse are difficult topics to talk about and it's often easier to focus on "fluffier" issues like animals!
It's remarkable to us when a group of people step up and deal with the issues face-on; it is certainly what survivors of sexual violence tell us they want.
We were presented with a cheque for £120 by Gus who works at the cafe and the owner was keen to talk about why Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services was chosen as a charity to support.
Melissa Middleton, who has run the Whistlestop for 15 years says that the charity recently helped a friend of her hers. She added "I was also helped by the original rape crisis service in Exeter, over 17 years ago. It's a life saving service and a life-changing service and it really helped me to stop pretending to cope and to move back on with my life. The help I received back then helped turn me from a victim into a survivor and I'd really encourage anyone to come forward and ask for support".
International Dance Supplies held an event in July and raised £612 for Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services.
The company is owned by Anne Walker MBE, one of our delightful patrons who is an amazing ambassador for our service.
Asked how the money had been raised on the night she said "We raised the money through raffle tickets and a couple of (very) persuasive helpers!"
Thank you to Anne and everyone who supported the event and generously donated.
Volunteers, trustees and staff from across the south west region gathered in Exeter in June for a lively and passionate away day together.
Women came from Gloucester, Bristol, North Somerset, Taunton, Devon and Cornwall to share their ideas and passion for the work they do.
The region works very closely together and each service offers a similar range of services so everyone starts from a similar level of understanding.
The Away day was opened by Clare Moody MEP who was inspirational in her expressions of commitment to both services for victims and equality for women.
The majority of the rest of the day was spent in smaller workshop groups covering a range of topics. There was lots of input on helping women to deal with trauma symptoms, bodywork tools, sessions on diversity, The Alexander Technique and Trustee roles.
But as well as the learning, this was a chance for women to meet and connect and for the relationships between our 4 centres to deepen and grow.
Powerful new film - Black women speak out about racist sexual harassment.
DRCSAS are looking for volunteers!
Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services is looking for volunteers! Devon RCSAS is looking for women volunteers to represent our diverse community and join our team. No previous experience is needed, as training is provided, we just ask for passion and commitment! Devon RCSAS is a voluntary organisation that offers a range of free and confidential specialist support services to women (aged 13 years and above) in Devon who have experienced rape or sexual violence. We also provide a more limited range of support to young men. All volunteers will carry out support on the telephone helpline and Email Support Service either in Exeter, Torquay or Barnstaple and there is also the possibility of carrying out face to face specialist support in the area where they live. They will also need to attend the volunteer supervision and development meetings which take place once a month in Exeter. The training programme runs over 6 months and it is accredited.
Talk to us now about Volunteer Training in Barnstaple for January 2019.
We've put on comedy events in the past as fundraisers for our service and this time we have decided to combine fundraising with awareness raising.
A comedy show about rape is not something the organisation entered into lightly. We weighed up the costs and benefits of promoting this and the greatest discussions we had were about what kind of message this might send to those using our services or thinking about doing so.
We're a professional and sensitive organisation and it matters to us how women feel. So, we know that women feel tied up in knots with the rape myths that abound in our society, we know that women feel sickened to hear "rape jokes" in their social circles, we know that women feel silenced by the cultural "normalising" of sexual assault and rape and we know that women do not come forward for support or report to the police because of the prevailing social norms.
This show takes all the rape myths, chews them up and spits them back out again. It challenges the ways in which rape is discussed, laughed about and accepted. As a feminist organisation, committed to the support of women and to cultural change, this is a show that we are proud to present.
Obviously, this is a challenging show and could well be triggering to some so please look after yourselves in making a decision about whether to book or not.
"I think EMDR has allowed me to process things far more than I was expecting, it was more effective than I was anticipating and I was surprised at how much different I felt after having it."
"DRCSAS has made a massive difference, I feel I have found myself – no longer just focused on what happened to me. I deal with things so much better and have a positive outlook on life that wouldn't have happened without DRCSAS."
"I feel positive about the future, being able to control my thoughts and emotions rather than them controlling me. I was sceptical at first wondering if it would work but I am amazed at the results. Would definitely recommend to anyone"