STARS Dorset works with anyone of any age or gender who lives works or studies in Dorset and has experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their life. The charity has recently gained accreditation for its work with male survivors of sexual violence and achieved a male service Quality Mark for both its Counselling Service and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service.

STARS Dorset has always worked with male clients and during the last year it has employed a male Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, three male counsellors, male telephone support workers and a male trustee. The charity offers four core services: a one to one Counselling service, a Support Line, an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service (ISVA)  and a service specifically for Children and Young People. Working through the Quality Standards and towards this accreditation has ensured that all its support services are inclusive for male survivors. It has also helped the charity’s trustees, staff and volunteers understand and highlight the importance of working with the individual needs of male clients.

 Helen Stevens Service Manager for STARS Dorset said:

“We are delighted to have achieved this Quality Mark for the support we offer for male survivors of sexual violence. The process took us several months to complete but in doing so we were able to dissect and evaluate our support offering for men and ensure that STARS Dorset’s trustee board, staff and volunteers were all working to meet the needs and offer the support required by male clients. STARS Dorset supported over 1800 survivors of sexual violence in the county last year and working towards and achieving this Quality Mark helps us as a charity consolidate the inclusivity our support offering is to anyone of any age or gender who needs it.”

Jonny Gutteridge, Head of Operations for Male Survivors Partnership said:

“Congratulations to STARS Dorset and many thanks for your commitment to showing you meet the national standard for men who are survivors of sexual violence.  We created the standard because we wanted men to be able to find services that are ready to understand and respond to their own individual experience, in ways that work best for them. It's so pleasing that men looking for support from STARS Dorset will now be able to see our kitemark, the sign of a standard established through the combined work of other survivors and of specialists experienced in addressing men's needs and helping them address the sexual violence that's affected them, and hopefully more men will feel confident that it's OK for them to find out about getting help."

The Quality Standards created by the Male Survivors Partnership is independently accredited by Lime Culture, it includes a six stage process that incorporates a documentary evidence review, interviews, and a site visit. Services assessed as meeting the Quality Standards  achieve an independent Quality Mark, services are then subject to on-going monitoring to ensure the quality of services is maintained.

 Anyone who has been affected by sexual violence and would like confidential advice and support in Dorset can call the STARS Helpline on 01202 308855 or visit For further support and information nationally men can also call the National Male Survivor Helpline on 0808 800 5005.