Unlocking change

Circles South East

Circles South East supports people affected by sexual abuse in their recovery and rehabilitation and they work to reduce the instances of sexual abuse. They take an inclusive and rounded approach to preventing sexual harm, which includes working with survivors, perpetrators, family members, and the wider community to ensure the cycle of abuse is broken and reoffending prevented.

The most challenging aspect of my settlement in the community and perhaps my greatest risk factor is loneliness and isolation. Prolonged isolation before I offended distorted and numbed my perceptions leading up to my offence. The willingness of my Circle to speak to me in person, on the phone and on RocketChat at all times of the day even though they had had long days at work fulfilled the greatest need I had over the last two years. There support at a time of enormous change and stress absolutely prevented that distortion reoccurring and was vital in helping me manage my risk. It also allowed me to be happier.

Participant at the end of their Circle

Circles South East (SE) is the largest provider of Circles of Support and Accountability (known as Circles) in the UK. This intervention utilises community volunteers to work with sexual offenders to offer them targeted support to reintegrate safely and build offence-free futures. Circles SE published a 10-year study which showed individuals who had been in a Circle had a lower likelihood of sexual reoffending than those who had not.

Operating across South East England, Circles SE are at the forefront of developing innovative new services, they work closely with the national umbrella body, Circles UK, to share learning across providers to ensure standardisation and promote best practice.

Circles SE is a Public Protection Charity working for and with local communities across the South East and London. We provide a range of interventions to support both survivors and perpetrators in their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration, recognising that each person has a unique set of personal circumstances that will need a tailored response. Our primary purpose is to provide a comprehensive package of support to all whose lives have been impacted by sexual harm. Circles South East's Community Hub addresses the problem of sexual abuse through parents' child protection courses, victim support and family awareness programmes. We currently have 600 community volunteers providing support across the region and last year supported over 200 service users.

Rebekah Saunders, Chief Executive, Circles South East

Connection to Esmée's strategy

Long-term outcomes
  • Gender-based violence is reduced through the delivery of preventative work.

Learn more