Gloucestershire Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC) is a confidential service that provides support and information to anyone in Gloucestershire who has been affected by sexual violence. Founded in 1984, the service is available to anyone who has experienced sexual violence at any point in their life, and provide both emotional and practical support. In addition, they also work to educate the public on the impact of rape and sexual abuse or assault, by providing information advice and workshops.
How Does GRASAC Provide Support to People Affected by Sexual Violence?
GRASAC is there to support anyone who has experienced sexual assault, whether it has happened recently, many years ago, or as a child. This ranges from listening to the person’s experience, to guiding them through the process if they wish to report the incident to the police. They offer a number of support services in a number of ways:
A telephone helpline and an anonymous email support service staffed by fully trained volunteer support workers.
One to one therapeutic support with a specialist support worker.
A group activities programme to meet others who have had similar experiences.
The charity also offers Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA), a specialist service that provides practical and emotional support for anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted, regardless of gender, age or background. They are there to help the individual to make informed choices about how they come to terms with what has happened, including liaising with the police and helping them to access further support if needed.
Raising Awareness & Educating the Public
GRASAC also works within the community to provide information on sexual violence, in order to raise awareness and to help those affected obtain better support. The charity works with schools, business and the general public in a number of ways:
Schools: Providing training to educate young people on relationships, consent and online safety, along with seminars for teachers to help tackle difficult issues sensitively.
Businesses: Offers advice and training relating to policies and procedures on sexual violence and harassment in the workplace, along with how to support colleagues and employers affected by it.
Public Awareness: GRASAC also works to raise awareness around sexual violence in communities through a number of different campaigns, such as their Tinder Safety campaign, and the Ask for Angela initiative which launched in a number of bars and clubs in Gloucestershire.
How is GRASAC Funded?
Last year, GRASAC took over 1200 calls to their helpline. The charity constantly seeks funding in order to keep their services running and developing as the demand for support grows. They achieve this with funding from organisations such as the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Comic Relief and the Ministry of Justice. In addition, they receive donations from the public, along with individuals raising money through fundraising activities.
GRASAC took part in our charity poll for January 2020, and we are delighted to be welcoming them back for our first poll of 2021. You can show your support to Gloucestershire Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre by casting your vote for them this January. Find out more about their services, along with support, information, and how you can further support their work by visiting their website http://www.glosrasac.org/. Thank you.