About Us

Our Aims

• To empower and enable anyone, of any age who has suffered from any sort of sexual violence or rape, or is supporting a survivor, to work with the trauma they have experienced and gain health to live their lives as they would wish.
• To relieve the trauma, whether psychological, emotional , social or physical of persons and their families who have experienced or otherwise suffered as a result of rape, other sexual assault, sexual/domestic abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual harassment of any kind by providing support, help or assistance of any kind; and
• To advance the education of the public in the subject of rape, sexual/domestic abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual harassment and/or its psychological, physical, emotional or social impact on women, men and children by such means as the trustees deem fit.

Our History

In 1986 Bournemouth Youth Service together with Bournemouth Voluntary Services recognised the need for a support service for survivors of rape and sexual abuse so a meeting of all interested parties was called. A Steering Group emerged from this meeting and after almost 2 years planning, East Dorset Rape Crisis Helpline was founded in 1988. Initially, 14 well-trained volunteers ran the service offering emotional support to any survivors of rape and sexual abuse. In the 1990s the name was changed to Dorset Rape Crisis Line (DRCL) to reflect that the service covered the whole county.
In 2011 with the support of the Survivors Trust, DRCL successfully bid for three years funding from the Ministry of Justice to set up Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre. In August 2011 the Adult Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service was begun with a single part-time ISVA. We have grown this service and alongside it, the free at the point of delivery counselling service so that we now support children, young people, women, men and transgender survivors of sexual violence.

Our Objectives

• To provide a confidential telephone helpline
• To provide practical and emotional support to survivors through our ISVA service
• To provide support through the Criminal Justice System
• To provide information and advice to individuals, communities and agencies
• To provide one-to-one therapeutic counselling
• To provide well-being workshops and other group-work support
• To recruit staff and volunteers
• To provide training, support and supervision to staff and volunteers
• To deliver training to professionals, other agencies, employers and the wider community
• To provide information and advice to individuals and agencies
• To raise awareness on the issues and impact of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
• To monitor and evaluate service delivery and policies on a continual basis involving staff, volunteers and clients who use the service
• To work with other professionals, individuals and agencies to further the aims of Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre
• To raise funds to meet the needs of the service
• To identify areas of unmet need and take appropriate action

We Have Grown

We are now based in the centre of Poole with a specially designed centre providing 4 dedicated counselling rooms, including our family room.   The team has also grown and we now employ a Service Manager, Finance officer, Administrator, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Clinical Lead, Counselling Supervisor; Counsellors; 4 full-time ISVAs; 2 full-time children and young people’s ISVAs.  We now have over 80 volunteers supporting our work.

Who we work with:

…. Anyone who lives, works or studies in Dorset.

We have counselling hubs across Dorset to provide local access to our specialist services as well as our main centre in Poole.

Advisors to Broadchurch

We are very proud to have been advisors to the final series of the popular ITV drama Broadchurch which screened in Spring 2017.  Our staff liaised with Chris Chibnall, the writer, and the production company.  From this, Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Trish Winterman, kindly agreed to be our first patron and we are delighted to have her support.

Broadchurch won the Best Crime Drama of 2017 at the National Television Awards in January 2018 and we were mentioned in the acceptance speech.

Our patron has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTAs.

As Jodie said - on behalf of Chris - the award is dedicated to you guys - we couldn’t have done this without you. The generosity show by you all was a massive influence on the show, and was so much the better for it. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts - we all really mean and feel that. You were all with us in spirit tonight!