Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA)

Tackling Sexually Harmful Behaviour

We live in a society where sexual abuse provokes powerful responses within communities. The successful rehabilitation and reintegration of someone who commits sexual offences or displays harmful sexual behaviour requires consideration of their needs, those of their victims and the community in which they live. Stigmatization and social isolation are key factors in increasing the risk of re-offending.

Respond’s Circles of Support & Accountability (COSA) initiative supports young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism or both, who sexually offend or display harmful sexual behaviour to live a safe and purposeful life without risk to others.

Our COSA model represents an effective community-based alternative to institutions for maintaining this client group.

Working in close partnership with statutory agencies and care providers, Respond has been delivering this cost-effective and innovative solution to sexually harmful behaviour with impressive results since 2013.

A COSA is a group of 4 – 5 volunteers who work with the core member (the person with the harmful sexual behaviour) for a period of up to 18 months. They meet weekly and over time a group cohesiveness develops. The circle supports the core member in the community encouraging them to be responsible and accountable for their behaviour.


Read more about the 6 values underpinning our circles work

Click here to make a referral

Read a COSA case study here

For further information please email: julia.dick@respond.org.uk.

Interested in becoming a COSA volunteer?

Please see our volunteering page.

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