Public awareness and education
By talking to, and engaging, the whole community incidents of rape, sexual assault and abuse can be reduced, and those affected can be better supported.
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre works to increase understanding, and recognition, of sexual violence through education and public awareness. We provide information and advice, and deliver workshops, seminars on sexual consent, relationships and harassment for schools, youth groups, businesses and any organisation that wants information.
Educating people on sexual consent helps establish boundaries and remove misunderstanding of sexual behaviour.
Educating young people
Young people, in particular, benefit from open discussion about healthy sexual relationships in the digital age. We offer a range of training, workshops and presentations for schools, colleges, community organisations and businesses on a range of issues relating to sexual conduct:
Understanding the ‘rules of engagement’ and that only you have the right to decide what sexual activity you participate is key to lifelong healthy relationships, and a fundamentally important lesson for young people. Our workshops encourage open discussion, challenge ‘playground myths’ and taboos. This wonderful, ‘Tea and Consent’ video helps to explain sexual consent.
Bystander intervention workshops discuss ideas and strategies to give people the confidence, and means, to help others they notice are in difficulty.
On-line safety, revenge porn and ‘sexting’
Mobile phones, social media and dating apps can be mis-used for sexual harassment, and create situations that result in rape, sexual assault or abuse or bullying. We promote strategies that minimise the risk of negative on-line experiences.
Training for teachers
In partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, we deliver ‘Give and Get’ seminars to teachers. This resource provides lesson plans on healthy relationships and consent, tackling difficult issues in a sensitive and thought-provoking way that lead to debate and further understanding of what makes a mutually respectful relationship.
Advisory workshops for businesses
We offer advice and training on policies, procedures and protocols for issues around sexual violence and harassment in the workplace. We also offer group and individual support in response to issues that may arise that effect staff. Topics covered include: how to support affected employees and colleagues; what steps to take when a colleague first discloses their experience to you; where to signpost them to specialist support. We also answer questions about what sexual violence is, the effects of trauma on the body and mind and give insight into the process and stages of recovery.
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence in all communities. We organise and support campaigns and initiatives that highlight to the issues within society, and educate the public on the resources available to them.
Tinder safety campaign
Since 2016 we’ve partnered the Police in a campaign to highlight the vulnerability of people meeting after making contact on social media. Although after you’ve ‘met’ someone online you may feel you know them, but they are still strangers. Two fake profiles (one of a man, and one of a woman) were registered on Tinder which, when ‘swiped right’ reminded the viewer of their vulnerabilities and their responsibilities. The campaign was positively discussed in the local press, radio media and social media – that Gloucestershire takes safety seriously and is actively making people aware of social danger.
We’ve worked in partnership again with the Police to launch this initiative in bars and clubs in Gloucestershire. Simply, if a woman feels they are in danger, or being sexually harassed she can simply go to the bar and ask a member of staff “to speak to Angela”. Staff know this is a code for them to take action to make the women safe (for example by taking her to a safe corner, evicting her ‘date’ or caling the authorities). Posters and stickers in the ladies’ loos explain the initiative. In 2017 Ask Angela’s effectiveness at Butler’s Bar in Gloucester was reported in The Independent and The Metro.
We organise an annual Reclaim the Night event which brings attention to the vulnerability of women to sexual assault after dark. Attracting around 100 people, and media attention, the 2017 event ended with a gig at The Swan on the High Street in Cheltenham which helped raised funds for our service too.
Expert insight and advice
The contribution we make to wellbeing and safety in the community is recognised through funding support from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
We contribute to Gloucestershire’s Sexual Violence Task and Finish Group and county-wide Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence forums. We also advise on Police policy, training and awareness initiatives.
We speak and comment on local and national issues and initiatives to local radio and press. Our active social media presence ensures that a local voice is given to national issues.