All of Roses 2023 fundraising to be donated to supporting student sexual violence survivors

01/11/2023

Maya Upmacis reports on the where the money raised from Roses 2023 will go

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Image by Emily Warner

By Maya Upmacis

The students who participated in this years Roses fundraised an exceptional £15,706, in partnership with the York-based sexual violence charity Survive. The CEO of Survive, Mags Godderidge, has announced that all of this sponsorship will be dedicated to helping student victims with specialist counselling services and support work.

Survive, founded in York and working across North Yorkshire, provides trauma-informed services for people whose lives have been impacted by sexual trauma, a term used to define the long-term effects of sexual violence. These services can include trauma therapy, support work, and guiding survivors in making informed decisions (such as whether to report a sexual crime to the police . All services are delivered by professional trauma therapists.

In 2022, 75 out of 933 new referrals seeking specialist services were students. Since the start of the new academic year, Survive has reported an influx of demand from students seeking specialist help, making them a significant subgroup of survivors. Earlier this year, in an All About respect Conference; a project which aims to safeguard student communities from sexual violence, Godderidge revealed that out of students one third were survivors of child sexual abuse, 37 percent were survivors of non-recent incident/s and  17 percent were survivors of recent incidents. Research shows that young people aged 18 to 25 years-old are the age group most vulnerable to being subjected to sexual violence and that being a student increases this risk.

Godderidge noted that “With [the] demand for our services at an all-time high, we found that too many students were waiting too long to access our specialist counselling service” and hence made the decision to direct all Roses funding to support students.

The money raised for Survive, in alliance with the University’s ‘Shine a light’ campaign, was accomplished through donating to interactive art pieces and fundraising activities. Each of the Vice Chancellors of the University of York and the University of Lancaster offered to match the total donations of Roses participants, a record breaking amount. According to one University of York Student Union spokesperson, this demonstrates “extraordinary generosity that will change lives in many different ways right here in York”

Ms Gooderdige explained that this new student pathway will give students quicker access to an initial assessment and up to eight counselling sessions. In alliance with the Victims’ Code, which sets out standards of care for criminal justice agencies administering support, students do not need to confirm their student status to self-refer with Survive. Instead, they can ask to be referred to Survive via their Supporting Victims Team. However, this is a longer process and could take up to nine months due to high demand for their services.

You do not have to report a sexual violence crime to the police in order to access Survive’s specialist services. You are entitled to anonymity. To access the new pathway, call 01904 638813 or visit survive-northyorks.org.uk/make-a-referral/ and state that you are a student at the University of York.The Survive Helpline can be contacted 10am-12pm Monday to Thursday on freephone 0808 145 1887.