Who we are and what we do
Our mission is to keep communities safe by reducing the risk of future sexual offences. Our goal is no more victims. We do this by recruiting people from the local community to provide support and accountability to those people who have thoughts about or have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour towards others.
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 YHLCOSA has been working with high risk convicted sex offenders since 2009. We have been commissioned by Police and Probation to run Circles of Support and Accountability. What is a Circle
We are committed to preventing sexual harm and have developed to offer wider preventative services.
We have also adapted our approach to work in a more holistic way to prevent sexual harm. We work closely with a variety of services which work with potential offenders, victims and the community.
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.
NO MORE VICTIMS
YHL Circles of Support and Accountability mission is "to ensure that any person, who has caused, or is at risk of causing, sexual harm, and is considered eligible for support*, will have a Circle of Support and Accountability available to work with them".
* 'eligible' means that the person has been identified as suitable, has acknowledged their past sexually harmful behaviour or potential to offend, has agreed to participate and is motivated to change this behaviour
Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire Circles of Support and Accountability is a community response to sexual harm, working in partnership with criminal justice agencies.
We aim to increase community awareness and reduce the risk of future sexual harm. We do this by recruiting and training volunteers to support and holding to account those who have acknowledged their sexually harmful thoughts or potential to offend (known as ‘Core Members’) and who are committed to safely leading responsible, non-harmful, productive lives.
Our method is a true community response to safety.
We also offer organisation training and consultancy. Please see our Training & Consultancy page for more information.
Many people believe that society should lock up sex offenders and throw away the key. But that isn’t the reality: the average sentence is 5 years and 3 months. Circles of Support and Accountability work with an offender when they are released into the community to minimise their risk of causing more victims.