Independent Sexual Violence Advisor/Advocate (ISVA)
Many specialist support agencies now offer an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service to victims/survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. An ISVA is trained to explore with you what ‘services’ you are seeking and how to access them and that in accessing them you receive care and understanding. This is particularly important for survivors who are considering going to the police or have done so.
An ISVA is only there to provide you with information so that you can make the right decision for you and they will help create pathways into other services that you need. By contacting them you are not expected to report any offence to the police.
If you do wish to go to the police, an ISVA will help you understand how the criminal justice process works and will explain things to you, such as what will happen if you report to the police. They will maintain contact during the investigation and be able to support you at court as well.
A list of ISVAs can be found here The Survivors Trust - ISVA - or you can contact us if you cannot see one that is located near you.