RASA has served victims of sexual violence in Merseyside since 1986. In that time we have grown, from a small group of women meeting around a kitchen table in Birkenhead, into a highly professional, hugely skilled and expertly qualified group of staff and volunteers working in 4 centres and several outreach locations across Merseyside.
RASA works with all individuals who have been victims of sexual violence at any time in their lives. It can be happening now, happened recently or happened a long time ago – if you were/are a victim of sexual violence, RASA can offer you help, support, advocacy and counselling. We will work to your agenda and will do what you need us to do to help you recover.
We will listen without judgement. We will believe without question. We are here for you.
RASA is a member of Rape Crisis (England & Wales) and offers women led, women focussed services in a women only space for all female survivors of sexual violence.
We offer the same services for male survivors of sexual violence. Men and boys can be seen at a variety of locations throughout the region in confidential settings. At any one time approximately 10% RASA clients are male – so you are not alone in seeking help and support.
We understand that your perpetrator may be someone you know. You may be related to them or you may be, or have been recently, in an intimate relationship with them.
What matters to us is that you have been a victim of sexual behaviour that you are not comfortable with – and you would like some help to change how you feel about it and to address the effects it is having on you.
We can offer you an initial assessment appointment within a day or so of you making contact. While we prefer self referral, we are happy for a support worker, family member or friend to make initial enquiries on your behalf, provided you have given them consent to do so.
After your first appointment, your RASA worker will help identify the best care package for you. You might need help with other issues – housing, appointments at hospital, GP referrals, school, employment and more. We will ensure you are signposted to the right services for YOU.
If your assessment indicates that you are ready to move into counselling you will be placed on a waiting list until a suitable counsellor becomes available. The length of time you are on a waiting list can depend on your availability for counselling. Most centres offer out of hours counselling and we will always do our best to schedule around your work and home commitments. We want to minimise the disruption to your life – not add to it.
We will never force you to do anything you do not feel comfortable doing. If you want to report your assault to the police, we will support you in doing that. We will be with you every step of the way.
Our Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs) are fully experienced in working with survivors of sexual violence from “Report to Court” and will offer encouragement and assistance as needed.
If you do not wish to report your assault, you will still have the option of making an anonymous intelligence report to the police. This is similar in format to a statement but will not have any details on it that could identify you as the author. This can then be filed with Merseyside Police (or other Force as appropriate).
Such intelligence reports greatly assist the police in identifying serial offenders, hot spots of sexual violence, linked crimes etc. They also help highlight the huge number of sexual offences that go unreported – currently 90%.
We welcome referrals and self referrals from adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. RASA is here for you too. At any one time at least half of RASA clients are adult survivors and we have highly skilled counsellors to help you work through what has happened to you.
So – if you have been raped, sexually assaulted or have experienced sexual abuse as a child – please be assured that taking the first step in calling RASA you will be treated with dignity, respect and in confidence.
You will be believed.
You will not be judged.
We are here for you.
RASA – for when staying silent is no longer an option.