Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) Service
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA’s) are here to provide independent practical support and assistance to people in Warwickshire who have experienced sexual violence or abuse whether a crime has been reported to the police or not. They make sure you have the best possible advice, information, access to services and support that you need and can act as an advocate for you when dealing with other agencies.
Safeline’s ISVAs all receive specialist ISVA accredited training as well as accredited training to work with survivors of sexual abuse to enable them to support clients effectively. This means our ISVA’s are able to support all survivors of sexual violence ages 3+, of any gender, and we have a specially trained Children’s ISVA (ChISVA) to support children and young people age 3-18 and their families.
How ISVAs can help you
Your ISVA will be approachable and empathic and listen to you without judgement. They are completely independent of all other agencies you may be working with. They will give you impartial advice and help you make informed decisions. If you choose to report a crime to the police, they will be there every step of the way. If you choose not to report, they can still support you with other issues you may be having and help you access the right support through Safeline or other agencies.
Our ISVA says:
“For many people who have had crimes perpetrated against them, they are unsure about where to turn and can feel overwhelmed. They may feel that they ought to talk to the police about what has happened to them but this can be hard. For example, sometimes the person that hurt them is a family member; sometimes a person thinks that they will be blamed or judged. Talking to an ISVA is a way of talking through different options, knowing that whatever action they choose, it will be their decision without any coercion and that there will be ongoing support from Safeline.”
Your ISVA can:
- Provide impartial advice and support – they will help you to make informed decisions about the care and support you need, including reporting rape or sexual abuse to the police
- Attend meetings with you – police interviews/court, health appointments (GP, mental health, sexual health), social services conferences and more
- Act as an advocate for you – they can talk to an employer or teacher or support you with housing and benefits
- Provide emotional and practical support – they will be in touch with you regularly and make sure you get access to the other services you need at Safeline and beyond
- Provide information and support – the ISVA will liaise with other professionals. If you are going through the criminal justice process, they will keep you up to date with information about your case and can be by your side throughout the investigation and during court hearings
- Help with anonymous reporting – they can share anonymous intelligence with the police about the rape or sexual abuse on your behalf if you do not want to go to the police
- Help with claiming compensation – They will discuss your rights with you and assist with a compensation application when appropriate
Using the ISVA service
To access Safeline’s Warwickshire ISVA service please contact 01926 402498 or email ISVA@safeline.org.uk
You can also use our new ISVA Referral App which has been developed to enable professional agencies, individuals and friends or family to use to refer immediately to Safeline. Scan the QR code below to download the App or read about it here
Whichever way you choose to contact us, you can expect a response from a member of the ISVA team within 48 business hours.
For Professional Agencies:
If you are a professional agency acting on behalf of a victim or survivor of sexual abuse wishing to access support and you have their consent, you can contact us using any of the methods above, or complete and return our referral form here
What some of our ISVA clients have said:
“I did not imagine that there was someone out there for me, who was able to be there for me from the moment I reported what happened till beyond the end of the trial. She kept me going and understood me in a different way from my counsellor. And she was with me all the way.”
“They support you in whichever way you need, no matter what”
“My ISVA was calm and steady and very kind during what is and was a turbulent and difficult time.”
“Having someone that knew the process was amazingly helpful”
We really appreciate your feedback about our ISVA service and you can give us feedback at any time during your support to enable us to give you the best possible experience. You can speak to a member of the ISVA team during an appointment, call us at the office or e-mail us on ISVA@safeline.org.uk. You can complete our feedback form anonymously through Survey Monkey by clicking here. If you are a parent/guardian of a child that has used the ChISVA service we would also like to hear from you and we welcome your feedback by clicking here.