What’s our project creating?

As the project generates findings, we will update you here.

May 2020

The Mesarch study is still continuing during Covid-19.  Please visit our blog to see how we are adapting our project during this pandemic.

Update September 2018 – December 2019

Our project launched just over a year ago.  We undertook national scoping work to understand the context of SARCs.  In June, we concluded our pilot work with the help of staff and service users at Juniper Lodge SARC in Leicester, for which we are very grateful.

In July, we received ethics approvals from the Health Research Authority and East Midlands-Derby Research Ethics Committee to launch our case study work (interviews with stakeholders) and undertake a national cohort (or longitudinal) study with adult survivors of sexual assault, rape and abuse. We completed our co-production of videos to facilitate recruitment of both professionals and people attending SARC services and the first screening for entry into the cohort study took place on August 1st 2019.

In order to reach service users and offer people the opportunity to be a part of the study, we need the involvement and support of SARCs and their staff. To date, the MESARCH project has brought together 14 SARCs across England to enable this ground breaking work to be a success.

But we still have one site to go! Do get in touch if you would like to propose your SARC service for participating. Email Dr Grace Carter at grace.carter@coventry.ac.uk.

Another piece of the puzzle to make this research possible has been working closely with third sector organisations. Our recruitment strategy required us to go well beyond the SARCs, and in fact we are now formally working with 23 partners in the charity sector, sexual health services and local councils to enable us to reach survivors and offer options for how to be involved in MESARCH. We recognise the difficulties for survivors of abuse, and indeed the challenges facing those in the voluntary sector, and research is often the last thing on people’s minds.  Yet teams of staff across the SARCs and other organisations have demonstrated their commitment to building knowledge and evidence about impacts of abuse and identifying best practice care and cross-working.

At each participating SARC staff screen all service users aged 18 years and above. To date, the eligibility of 500 people attending 12 SARCs has been considered. As service users are referred on to other services, staff at these sites have been trained to introduce the research using our video and consent is gathered to refer the person to the project team who then make contact in accordance with the person’s preferences, undertake the next level of consent checking and conduct a baseline interview. Our next steps are to develop our follow-up surveys for 6 month and 1 and 2 years.

We are thankful and humbled by the willingness of the individuals, staff and organisations making this research possible. The research has important national implications and can also make a global contribution around the connections between experience of sexual violence and abuse and long term health and wellbeing.

We remain dedicated to our mission to bring together ‘A thousand survivors’ voices for change’. We welcome your suggestions and comments; please also share any concerns related to research by emailing us at mesarch@coventry.ac.uk

For a copy of this newsletter click here

Participating SARC Sites 

The Blue Sky Centre
www.blueskycentre.org.uk / 0800 970 0370

Oakwood Place
www.oakwoodplace.org.uk / 01277 240620

Swindon and Wiltshire SARC
www.firstlight.org.uk / 01793 781916

Hope House
www.hopehousesarc.nhs.uk / 0300 4218400

Northumbria SARC
www.resachsarc.org.uk / 03333448283

Horizon
www.horizonsarc.org.uk / 0800 970 0375

The Saturn Centre
www.saturncentre.org.uk / 0800 0337797

The Bridge
www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk / 0117 342 6999

The Herts SARC
www.hertssarc.org /  0808 178 4448

The Elms
www.theelmssarc.org / 0800 1935434

The Glade
www.theglade.org.uk / 0800 9709377

SARC Teesside
www.sarcteesside.co.uk / 03333 44 8283

Third sector and other organisations facilitating recruitment 

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC)
www.crasac.org.uk / 02476 277777

Safeline
www.safeline.org.uk / 01926 402498

Rape or Sexual Abuse Support (RoSA)
www.rosasupport.org / 01788 551151

Safelink
www.safelinkupport.org.uk / 0333 323 543

Black Country Women’s Aid
www.blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk / 121 552 6448

Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC)
www.glosrasac.org / 01452 526770

Umbrella
www.umbrellahealth.co.uk / 0121 237 5700

Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP)
www.rsvporg.co.uk / 0121 643 4136

Synergy
www.synergyessexorg.uk / 0300 003 7777

Survivors Network
www.survivorsnetwork.org.uk / 01273 203380

West Sussex LA
www.saturncentre.org / 01293 600469

Splitz
www.splitz.org / 01225 777 724

Peterborough Rape Crisis
www.prccg.org.uk / 01733 852578

Cambridge Rape Crisis
www.cambridgerapecrisis.org.uk / 01223 245 888

Changing Lives
www.changing-lives.org.uk / 0191 273 8891

Victims First
www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk / 0800 011 3116

Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland
www.rctn.org.uk / 0800 035 2794

West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre
www.wmrsasc.org.uk / 01905 724514 (Worcestershire) or 01432 344777 (Herefordshire)

Axis
www.axiscounselling.org.uk / Counselling – Shrewsbury Office 01743 357777, Telford Office 01952 278000 / ISVA Service – Shrewsbury 01743 243007, Telford 01952 586790

Arch North East
www.archnortheast.org / 01642 822331

South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC)
www.sericc.org.uk / 01375 380609

Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse in Essex (CARA)
www.caraessex.org.uk / 01206 769795

SOS Rape Crisis
www.sosrc.org / 01702 667590

Publications

2019

Brown SJ, Khasteganan N, Brown K, Hegarty K, Garter GJ, Tarzia L, Feder G, O’Doherty L. Psychosocial interventions for survivors of rape and sexual assault experienced during adulthood. Cochrane database of Systematic Review 2019, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD013456. DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD013456

The Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group (CDPLPG) has supported to undertake a Cochrane Review entitled ‘Psychosocial Interventions for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault during Adulthood’. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of psychosocial interventions on mental health and well-being for survivors of rape and sexual assault experienced during adulthood. This study result will acknowledge the most effective ways of intervening to improve health outcomes and prevent further victimisation. Although post-traumatic stress is strongly associated with rape and sexual assault, the effectiveness of interventions in promoting survivor well-being is unclear. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be one of the primary outcomes of the review. The review will cover a range of secondary outcomes across mental, physical and sexual health and behavioural outcomes. Clinical and policy guidelines inform responses to rape and sexual assault, but their effectiveness is unclear. Thus, providing accessible, evidence-based interventions in response to victims is not only a moral imperative, but an essential requirement to limit the consequences of rape and sexual assault across the lifespan and disrupt the costly pathways to poor health.

Please click here to view the publication.