An ISVA is an independent advocate who can provide practical and emotional support to survivors, aged 5 or over, who have experienced any form of rape or sexual abuse at any time in their life.
ISVAs are specially trained to explore any options that may be available and to provide information to enable the survivor to make informed choices. The ISVA offers free, non-judgemental support.
The ISVA can provide the opportunity to talk in a safe and confidential environment.
The ISVA can:
- Offer free, confidential support by phone, online or in person.
- Provide information about any options that may be available and support to make informed decisions.
- Provide the information needed to make decisions on whether to report to the police and the information about the legal process and rights.
- Complete risk and need assessments and individual support and safety plans to ensure that we support survivors with the correct client-led package.
- Provide information and support for accessing services. These may include counselling, drug and alcohol services, sexual health and housing options. We can also support with the Victims Right to Review Scheme, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims and anonymous reporting.
Some people decide to report the matter to the police, some do not want to report to the police, and some are unsure and may be considering this option. This is a personal choice. The ISVA will offer support regardless of whether it is reported to the police or not.
The ISVA will be able to:
- Attend or support with any appointments relating to the support.
- Liaise with the police and Crown Prosecution Service.
- Support the viewing of the courtroom before the trial.
- Support the application for protection measures
- Support after the trial – whatever the outcome.
- Help report the incident anonymously, safe in the knowledge that their identity will not be revealed.
- Help develop understanding around responses to sexual violence. (consent, rights and responsibilities, what is abuse, exploring healthy/unhealthy relationships, societal myths and stereotypes, online safety, etc)
- Work closely to help in identifying and expressing feelings.
- To believe.
- To be non-judgemental.
- To recognise survival strategies.
- To enable survivors of sexual violence to retain control.
- To recognise it is an individual’s decision whether they report to the police.
- To empower and enable survivors of sexual violence.
- To validate feelings whatever they are.
- To dispel the myths around rape and sexual abuse.
- To treat all survivors of sexual violence as individuals.
We recognise how hard it is for you to get in touch and we will do all we can to support you. Once contact with us has been made, one of our team will call to explain the service further and answer any questions. They will then allocate an ISVA, who will get in touch to arrange an initial assessment. Anything discussed will be in the strictest confidence and no information will be shared with other agencies without your consent unless it involves matters of child protection, or someone at risk of serious harm.
For further information about our advocacy services please call our Navigators on 01905 969777 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
The ISVA service accepts both self-referrals and referrals from other agencies or representatives by calling our Navigators on 01905 969777 or completing the forms below:
My ISVA has been the one consistent source of support over the entirety of this journey, continually caring, non-judgemental and approachable.
The following self-referral form can be completed if you’re 14 and over, or if younger, a parent or carer can complete the form on your behalf.
Alternatively, a professional (nurse, doctor, social worker, etc) can refer you to us using this form.