Our Story



We’re raising £7680 so that sexual violence survivors are able to work together with health professionals to identify what the most important questions for sexual violence research to answer.

This will:

  • Improve the way health services support people affected by sexual violence
  • Transform the future of UK health care

What is the problem?

Approximately 1 in 10 people in the UK have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16, for example rape, sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact. This means that over four million people in the UK have been affected by these experiences. It has also been estimated that one in 20 children in the UK have suffered from some form of childhood sexual abuse. Living with the consequences of sexual violence can have a significant physical and emotional impact on survivors, including post-traumatic stress and other mental health difficulties, inability to work or study, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Despite this wide range of impact, there are several fundamental uncertainties around the best way to support people who have experienced sexual violence and we simply don’t know if available services fully meet their recovery needs.

What are we going to do about it?

We will work with an organisation called the James Lind Alliance to establish a ‘Priority Setting Partnership’ (PSP). We will bring patients, carers and clinicians together to identify and agree on the unanswered questions that they consider the most urgent and important for future research to address.

The James Lind Alliance has already conducted similar projects to identify the most important priorities of people affected by a range of conditions, such as chronic pain or different kinds of cancer. In many cases, the work of PSPs has led to new cutting-edge research that has improved the lives of countless people in the UK. This will be the first PSP that will be focusing on the needs of survivors of sexual violence and abuse.

Our PSP will include both ‘experts by experience’, meaning sexual violence survivors, and ‘experts by profession’, such as doctors and psychological therapists who work with survivors of sexual violence.

Using social media and online surveys, we will reach out to survivors, their families and relevant professionals throughout the UK to identify important unanswered questions about the best way to support people who have experienced sexual violence, and whether survivors feel that any of their needs are currently not met by health services. This information will then be used to prioritise a Top 10 list of most important unanswered questions that should be examined by research in the future. These priorities will be published in medical journals and will directly influence the decisions of major funders of clinical research studies in the UK, such as the National Institute of Health Research.

We believe in championing survivors using their voice. We believe in empowering survivors. We believe in engaging survivors in meaningful conversation about the future of their care. We believe that survivors are the experts. We believe that what is most important to survivors is most important to research. We believe that the PSP will allow survivors to improve their lives, and the lives of countless others like them. If like us, you believe this too, please pledge your support now.

How can you help?

We have already raised half of the money needed for this project through contributions from The University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. However, we need more funds to ensure that we will be able to involve survivors in this important project. Unfortunately, there are no large national charities in the UK that specifically support projects related to sexual violence or sexual abuse, so our options for support are limited compared to other PSPs conducted in the past, which are traditionally funded by charities for specific problems or medical conditions.

We need your support to help us to undertake this important work.

Together we will improve the way UK health services support people affected by sexual violence.

Together we will understand what survivors need to support their recovery.

And together we will identify important unanswered questions about the best way we can care for survivors.

Your support, no matter how small, will enable us to undertake this important work.

Please pledge what you can today, to help us improve the future for sexual violence survivors.

To pledge please click here