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News & Events

Blog Archives

“Let’s talk about it”: North London Rape Crisis launches new freephone helpline

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“Let’s talk about it”: Our North London Rape Crisis service launches new freephone helpline, to provide life-saving emotional support to survivors of sexual violence and abuse, in a critical climate of unprecedented demand for services and insecure funding.

 With essential funds provided by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Home Office, we are launching the North London Rape Crisis (NLRC) freephone helpline to provide a safe, non-judgmental, confidential space for an ever increasing number of women and girls who are desperately seeking help to recover from sexual violence and abuse.

To mark the launch of the new freephone helpline, NLRC are launching a campaign, featuring Solace volunteers and supporters, to help challenge some of the myths surrounding sexual violence and break down the barriers to picking up the phone and getting crucial emotional support. Help spread the word on Twitter by tweeting: #Solace40 is here to listen. New Freephone North London Rape Crisis helpline 0808 801 0305. Challenge myths. Break barriers #letstalkaboutit


The anonymous listening service is available to women and girls aged 13+ who have experienced any form of sexual violence (including child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, prostitution and female genital mutilation) at any time: recent or non-recent, whether they are already receiving support, awaiting counselling, or speaking out for the first time and irrespective of if they want to report the crime or not.

As the number of rape and sexual abuse cases reported in London soars by nearly 30% (*Metropolitan police 2015) and mounting media coverage of sexual abuse atrocities hits the headlines it is not surprising that more women are coming forward. Solace is increasingly inundated with requests for help and has seen a 40% increase in referrals. Emily Robertson, our NLRC service manager explains that “with insecure and stretched funding, we struggle to meet the needs of all those seeking support in dealing with the devastating impacts of rape and sexual abuse. The new helpline is a vital service offering in-depth emotional support that really could be the difference between life and death.”

But with no end in sight for the influx of women and girls seeking support, fears are escalating over availability of services for courageous survivors who come forward. One service user sums up the impact that NLRC has had for her, “I would not be here, alive today if it wasn’t for the North London Rape Crisis Service”But, like many other Rape Crisis centres across the UK, NLRC has no secure funding from the government after March 2016. Unless this is resolved urgently NLRC will face closure and vital support would be withdrawn from thousands of survivors.

Freephone Helpline 0808 801 0305

Find out more about the North London Rape Crisis service

Solace’s flagship event Rock Against Violence 2015 tickets on sale now!

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Rock Against Violence 2015

Thursday 12th November at the O2 Academy in Islington.

Sounds of Solace is proud to announce their flagship music event is back for a fourth year running, showcasing up and coming and semi-professional musicians. Rock Against Violence 2015 will raise vital funds for Solace during its 40th Anniversary year so more women and children can get life-changing support after domestic or sexual abuse.

RAV 2015 early bird tickets on sale now for £10 only until 31st August.

This year Rock Against Violence 2015 will take place on Thursday 12th November 2015, back at the O2 Academy in Islington. Doors will open at 6:30pm. The first act will kick off the night at 7pm followed by several others. The night will include a silent auction and a raffle, before the closing at 11pm. For full event details and the exciting line-up check out the RAV 2015 website.

Tickets are now on sale. Get your early bird discounted ticket today at Eventbrite



Solace crowdfunds for awe-inspiring video showing journey from abuse to recovery

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Solace launches crowdfunding appeal with The Big Give to produce awe-inspiring video that will convey just how Solace helps survivors of domestic or sexual violence on their journey to recovery. This will give survivors a voice and demonstrate how they were able to recover and rebuild their lives free from abuse. Solace will use the video to secure an extra £40K a year plus other help and support, ensuring Solace can continue to provide vital services to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.


Many people think that removing women and children from the immediate control of an abusive man solves the problem of domestic and sexual abuse. Solace knows this is often only the first step for many survivors. Our recent research indicated that over 90% experienced post-separation abuse, and that there is a critical need for specialist support for women and children in the period after leaving an abusive situation.


We offer survivors vital on-going support that is tailored to individual need, listening to and believing every woman or child who asks for help. This is highly effective in helping them to recover and rebuild their lives. However, to provide this level of support we need to convince donors and funders of the positive impact of providing our services, however long it takes to help survivors build independent lives free from abuse. The video will tell our service users stories to help us do this.


To find out more and donate to our appeal visit our page at the Big Give




North London Rape Crisis launches Friends and Family Counselling Service

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North London Rape Crisis (NLRC) now offers free short-term Counselling for Family, Friends & Partners of female survivors of sexual violence. Many supporters struggle with distressing feelings of upset, shock, grief, feel overwhelmed or have intimacy issues. Counselling can support supporters work through their thoughts and feelings about what has happened to a person that they care about.


The new counselling service is available to supportive friends and family members (including supportive make partners) of a female survivor of any form of sexual violence. The supporter must live, work or study in one of our seven boroughs including Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.


Counselling is a talking therapy, based on regular weekly sessions with a counsellor in a safe and confidential place and provides a unique experience that focuses entirely upon the individual giving them the opportunity to explore their feelings.  We offer 6 sessions of short-term therapy, which take place on a Friday daytime in Islington and childcare and Interpreters are available on request.


Why have Friends & Family counselling?

  • To talk to someone who doesn’t know you personally and who is not going to judge.
  • You might feel disbelief when you first hear about the assault, you might feel surprised, shocked or numb.
  • You might feel anger for a number of reasons; towards yourself for not being able to protect the survivor; towards the perpetrator or towards the survivor.
  • You might feel guilt because you could not prevent the assault from happening or that the survivor did not feel comfortable to tell you about the assault right away.
  • You may feel anxious about responding the’ right’ way or worried about how this event will impact your relationship with the survivor.
  • People come to Counselling for all of the above reasons and many more. Whatever your reason it will be valued by the counselling service.


To find out more about the new Friends and Family Counselling Service contact:

North London Rape Crisis Helpline 0207 619 1369

10.00 – 14.00 Monday

10.00 – 13.00 Tuesday

13.00 – 17.00 Wednesday & Thursday

10.00 – 14.00 Friday




Over 90% of service users feel safer and more confident

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In the 40th year of securing a safer future Solace is pleased to announce the most recent service user survey results, with 95% of service users who took part rating the service as good or excellent, helping them to feel more confident and safe.


Solace is committed to women and children having a central voice within the organisation in order to be able to provide continuously improving services. Each year Solace Women’s Aid conducts an annual service user survey across all its services. Over the period of four weeks, all service users are asked to complete a standardised questionnaire relevant to the service they are using at that time. Some key results from the survey include:


98% would recommend Solace to a friend or relative

‘Solace has been brilliant and been my life line.’ Solace Service User, Advocacy

99% said their key worker was easy to talk to

‘Solace understand the issues and believe the client. It’s very empowering because before I didn’t have a voice.’ Solace Service User, Advocacy

90% reported that Solace helped them feel safer

This year there was a significant increase (42%) in the number of responses so a huge thank you is extended to all those that made it possible and the service users that took the time to complete the survey.

‘The domestic violence workshop has been great, I am more alert now on signs of Domestic Violence’ Solace Service User, Advice

95% said Solace helped them feel more confident

‘I thank Solace for everything. I feel I am a changed person. I have started to feel positive about life. Thank you!’ Solace Service User, North London Rape Crisis


This year there was a significant increase (42%) in the number of responses so a huge thank you is extended to all those that made it possible and the service users that took the time to complete the survey. We are extremely pleased with such positive feedback from our Service Users who’s views are pivotal to the organisation and allow us to continually improve our services at Solace.



Celebrating 40 years of securing a safer future

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Solace Women’s Aid celebrates supporting 60,000 women and children in London over 40 years, with an urgent new appeal.

Solace Women’s Aid is celebrating its 40th year by launching an appeal to continue its life-changing work during a time of unprecedented demand for its services and cuts in public funding.

Since the beginning Solace Women’s Aid has grown considerably and has helped over 60,000 survivors of domestic and sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. They provide a holistic range of specialist services across London, including refuges, advice & advocacy, counselling, support groups and family & children’s projects.

Demand for their services continues to grow at an alarming rate. Mary Mason, CEO comments “As domestic and sexual violence is discussed more and more in the media we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of survivors who feel more confident in coming forward, disclosing their own experiences and seeking support. All this in a climate of significant funding cuts

Despite the challenges in the sector, more volunteers than ever are being trained on Solace Women’s Aid’s helplines and additional staff are being recruited to provide one-to-one counselling, group therapy and specialist legal advice. But there is a lot more they need to do to secure a safer future for women, hence the 40 year appeal.

The organisation is asking for a £40 donation from organisations, groups and individuals concerned or affected by domestic or sexual violence. This donation could, for example, provide two counselling sessions, three children’s play therapy sessions, one legal consultation or an hour of helpline advice.

The charity recognises that breaking free from domestic violence or escaping sexual abuse is only the start. This is why they not only provide practical advice and a safe space to live, but also help women and children recover emotionally and build a future free from abuse.

It doesn’t happen overnight and takes courage and determination but, with Solace’s help and the success of their new appeal, service users will continue to be able to develop the confidence and independence they need to rebuild their lives free from abuse.

One Solace service users sums it up “Your bruises go away and your bones mend. But it’s the despair, being hopeless. It’s a very dark place to be. Solace has given me hope.”

Visit www.solacewomensaid.org.uk/40years to make a real difference to the lives of women and children who have survived domestic and sexual violence. You can also spread the word by tweeting ‘Secure a safer future’ using @solacewomensaid and hashtag: #solace40


For further information please call Karen Ruskin on 020 7619 1350 or email: Karen Ruskin: k.ruskin@solacewomensaid.org / Alex Siepel: a.siepel@solacewomensaid.org

Find out more about our 40 year history

Download our 40 years of SWA press release


Our Magnificent London Marathon Runners!

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A huge thank you to Melissa and John who ran the Virgin London Marathon on

Sunday raising valuable funds for Solace  – every penny is needed to answer the

daily calls from women in London needing support to escape violence.  I hope you

are as proud of yourselves as we are! – it’s a monumental achievement and we are

eternally grateful for your support.  Thank you from all the women and children

we help.  You can still donate at  :



Help them smash through their targets – Help them to change lives in London.






Hunter and the Bear supported us – Now it’s Eric!

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Hunter and the Bear who gave their time and talents last year to our Rock Against Violence Gig in Islington will be supporting the one and only Eric Clapton this summer.. We’re glad you like them Eric – we agree with you that they’re amazing live – all the best HATB with your exciting career! We’re big fans………

Melissa’s ready for the big day! Let’s cheer her on…..

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She shares her initials with Mo Farrah – so we know she’ll make it in round the full 26 miles in great time.  Join us in wishing the incredible Melissa Friedberg luck and energy on Sunday for the Virgin London Marathon and to our other Solace runner, John Hitchin.  Thank you to both of you for your amazing efforts ….

Click below to help her reach her target and help us to save lives!








What are you doing for Women’s Day – March 8th ?

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International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th so spare a thought for the millions of women around the world who inspire us every day – mothers, sisters, friends, survivors, workers, bosses, artists, activists and inventors! Give a donation or become a regular donor by clicking below or donate to support our AMAZING MARATHON RUNNER MELISSA!  www.justgiving.com/Melissa-Friedberg

Enjoy the day and celebrate with us – Do something special for the women in your life!