A SOLIHULL charity partnership is setting up a new abuse survivors clinic to provide support, advocacy and information.
Umbrella, in partnership with the Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP), has launched a new service in Solihull and Chelmsley Wood for survivors of sexual violence and abuse.
Run by RSVP, the new Solihull Abuse Survivors Clinic (ASC) service will offer assistance through independent sexual violence advocates (ISVAs), Umbrella says.
The Solihull ASC takes place at the Umbrella clinic in Boots, Mell Square, Solihull on the first and third Fridays of the month between 10am and 1pm.
The Chelmsley Wood ASC will run at the Primary Care Centre, 34 Crabtree Drive, B37 5BU on the last Thursday of every month, between 10am and 1pm.
Providing practical and emotional support, the ISVAs will be there for anyone over 13 years of age who has experienced rape, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation at any time during their life.
The ISVAs will also offer emotional and practical support through the criminal justice system if that route is taken.
Individuals needing medical services will be signposted to the appropriate NHS clinical service.
The advocates will be able to liaise with other professionals and will ensure that any clients using the service will remain at the centre of the service provided.
By making both the Solihull and Chelmsley Wood clinics local to the people of Solihull, the new service aims to use community partners who work within the Umbrella network to promote it to groups like young people and the LGBT community who may not normally access clinics.
Rachel Caswell, consultant in HIV and sexual health medicine, and clinical lead for sexual violence and domestic abuse, said: “I am pleased that the people of Solihull will have better access to the incredible support that RSVP can offer.
“Sexual abuse and violence affects so many people, from every walk of life and it can make a huge difference to have someone to trust, talk to and confide in.
“In my role within Umbrella I continue to marvel at the bravery and courage of survivors, for many of which the support of an ISVA has played a positive role in their journeys.”
For medical support the ASC at Whittall Street Clinic in Birmingham takes place on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.
At this clinic, a doctor, a health advisor and ISVA are able to provide support.
One attendee at the ASC commented: “I felt valued, and was seen and cared for by another woman who eagerly wanted my best and was truly on my side.
“It was extremely tough for myself but you made the experience ‘human’.”
Representatives say anyone can attend any of these clinics; no prior consultation is required. Patients can also refer themselves directly by calling 0121 237 5700. Please visit the Umbrella website for further information.