What is SARSAS?
We are a specialist support service for people in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, or South Gloucestershire, who have experienced any form of sexual violence, at any point in their lives. You can view and download our SARSAS Poster and SARSAS Leaflet for more information.
What is Sexual Violence?
This includes: rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, incest, sexual domestic violence, trafficking and sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, ritual abuse, forced marriage, crimes in the name of honour, sexual intimidation, coercion or harassment, whether physical or verbal.
How can SARSAS Help Me?
We offer a confidential helpline, regular support sessions, counselling, and email support to individuals.
We can also offer training and advice to professionals.
We support the friends and family of people affected by sexual violence.
I’m scared nobody will believe me
We believe rape and sexual violence is never the fault of the victim and we will always believe and support you. We understand that it is difficult to talk about these things. We can offer a safe and private space where you will be believed and you won’t be judged.
Where are you?
Our helpline and email support
We can provide support for people in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, or South Gloucestershire.
We have offices in Taunton and Bristol where we can provide face to face support. We can provide a women-only space in our centre in Bristol. We always try to make all our other spaces as safe as possible but are unable to guarantee they will be women-only.
We provide face to face support in these areas: Bath, Bridgewater, Glastonbury, Minehead, Weston-super Mare, Yate, and Yeovil.
If we are not providing face to face support in your area, we can provide support in the spoke nearest to you or over the phone.
If you would like to talk about having support with us please get in touch, our contact details are here.
To find out about other services in your area go to the Survivor Pathway
How are you funded?
SARSAS is currently funded by Bristol City Council, Ministry of Justice, charitable and statutory grant makers and donations from individuals.
Do you do any campaigning?
SARSAS works to raise awareness of sexual violence and challenge the myths and mis-conceptions about it. We lobby and campaign locally and nationally to promote the needs of survivors.
Want to talk?
From Monday 23 March our two helplines will be combined. Anyone can call either line at anytime.
0808 801 0456
0808 801 0464
Mon and Fri: 11am – 2pm,
Tue, Wed and Thu 12pm – 2pm & 6pm – 8pm
These lines are open to all. Girls, boys, women and men can call either of our two helplines. Trans and non-binary callers are welcome.
What we believe
We listen and believe. We support survivors to explore their thoughts, feelings and options. We believe rape and sexual violence is never the fault of the victim-survivor.
SARSAS believes that sexual violence is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. This creates a context for our work that focuses on:
- Belief not blame
- Understanding of context of sexual violence
SARSAS are able to provide women-only services in a women-only space in our centre in Bristol. We always try to make all of our other spaces as safe as possible but are unable to guarantee they will be women-only.
The rape crisis movement
- SARSAS is a member of Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW), and adhere to RCEW Service Standards which is an umbrella organisation that supports Rape Crisis Centres all over the country. RCEW provides national standards for centres to aim for, lobbies government, and does awareness raising work.
- The RCEW three core priorities are:
• Securing high quality specialist services for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence
• Building our collective expertise to improve services and policies for the benefit of survivors / victims
• Ending rape and sexual violence
To find out more about Rape Crisis England and Wales visit: www.rapecrisis.org.uk
A welcome from our patron, Laura Bates
“Welcome to the website of Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support. I am hugely honoured to be involved with the work of this this vital organisation, which is a member of Rape Crisis England and Wales.
SARSAS is here to offer free, confidential support to any woman or girl who has experienced sexual violence of any kind during her life. In a country in which over 85,000 women experience rape and 400,000 experience sexual assault every year, the work of organisations like SARSAS is of the utmost importance.
We live in a world in which women and girls experience a gauntlet of sexism, harassment, objectification, discrimination and assault on a daily basis. It is my belief that these different forms of gender inequality, from casual ‘everyday’ sexism to the presentation of women in the media as dehumanised sex objects, from discrimination against women in the workplace to sexual violence, are all part of an inter-connected spectrum.
I passionately believe that the only way to tackle this wide ranging gender inequality is to do everything we can to combat it at every level, and that everybody has a vital role to play.
Our voices are loudest when we raise them together.”
Laura is the founder of the award-winning Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 50,000 women’s experiences of gender imbalance. The stories come from women of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. The project has expanded into 17 countries and has featured in media from the New York Times to French Glamour, CNN to Grazia South Africa, Cosmopolitan to the Times of India.
Laura also writes for the Guardian, the Independent, Grazia, and Red Magazine, among others and has published several books.