Who we are and what we do
The mission of re:shape is to keep communities safe by reducing the risk sexual harm. Our goal is no more victims. We do this by empowering the community to ‘be the change’. With support from volunteers we offer interventions to people who are a potential risk, deliver education & awareness sessions and offer a tailored service to businesses. Core to our approach is the belief that we all have the power to make a difference within our community.
Formerly we operated under the name Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire Circles of Support and Accountability (YHLCOSA), who you will know for our provision of Circles of Support and Accountability. Our name change was made on reflection of our increasing involved in promoting a wider community response to the problems of sexual abuse and harm in society. You can read more about our history on our Circles Evaluation page.
Ultimately our magic ingredient is you, the community.
Why do this?
106,098 sexual offences were reported last year, the highest since national records began in 2002, and there has been a 60% increase in reported child sexual abuse in the last 5 years. Emotion without action means nothing. We live in a society where sexual abuse provokes powerful emotional responses within communities. Anger, fear, hatred, grief, denial are all common reactions. It seems like almost every day, a story breaks in the media revealing years of abuse by high profile individuals which went unnoticed or unreported by the institutions they belonged to. Imagine the suffering which could have been prevented if someone had spoken out. The issue isn’t limited to a handful of celebrities or strangers and misfits. 90% of children are abused by someone they know. The risks are all around us and the safety of children and adults living in our communities is the responsibility of all of us.
As an organisation we have been working with high risk convicted sex offenders since 2009. As Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire Circles of Support and Accountability we have been commissioned by Police and Probation to run Circles. What is a Circle? We have used our experience from circles, and the power of the community to develop wider preventative services. We also changed our name to re:shape to recognise the breadth of services and interventions we now offer.
Our approach is a holistic way to prevent sexual harm. We work closely with a variety of charities, businesses, community groups and statutory services.
Our existence is to reduce victims, we are dedicated to changing the landscape of sexual abuse immediately and to having long term impact for future generations.
We believe we will achieve this in a variety of ways.
AWARENESS – No more will sexual harm be a hidden secret. We will support & encourage people to talk about it. Changing culture, empowering people to seek help if they are either a risk to others or feel at risk from someone.
RECOGITION – To prevent and protect we need to recognise what sexual harm is, the scale of abuse and the true impact both on the victim and wider community. No more misconceptions, who, how, why, where it happens and what truly prevents sexual harm.
REHABILITATION – If someone who is a risk asks for support not to cause further victims we believe this support should be available for them.
ZERO TOLERANCE – There are NO excuses.
In our experience though most sexual harm could have been prevented if an intervention was available at certain points in a person’s life. We want interventions to be available.
Our approach isn’t magic, it’s a basic community response. We have worked with very high risk people and prevented them from causing further harm.
We have learnt that for change to happen it takes every one of us to do things differently. It’s clear everyone is committed to reducing sexual harm. Awareness is greater now than it ever was. However, without the recognition, rehabilitation and zero tolerance awareness isn’t enough.
Our method is a true community response to safety.