Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) - Oxford University

The Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) is employed by Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre and is seconded to the University of Oxford to exclusively support their students. This means that she is completely independent from the University, your college or any other agencies, and will tailor her support according to your needs.

The ISVA provides emotional and practical support and advice to any student who has experienced sexual violence, recently or in the past. 

She can:

  • Provide information about the criminal justice process if you're considering reporting, and help you to make informed choices about what is right for you;
  • Provide information on reporting, complaints and disciplinary procedures at the University of Oxford and its colleges;
  • Provide information about your rights;
  • Liaise with the police, college, CPS and/or other relevant agencies;
  • Accompany you to meetings relating to the sexual violence you have experienced;
  • Give you practical support and advocacy with regards to other services (e.g. studies, sexual and physical health, mental health, etc.);
  • Help you plan your safety and access appropriate support at the University or in your local area (e.g. counselling).

Our ISVA works in a non-directive and non-judgmental way. This means that she can give you information about legal processes and services that are there to support you, will support you to explore your options, but will not tell you what to do. She will support the decisions you make and will not judge you.

Who the service is for

This ISVA service is open to any student at the University of Oxford, who is a survivor of harassment, sexual abuse and/or rape, whether it happened recently or in the past, as a child or as an adult. The service is open to any student regardless of their age or gender.

Confidentiality

The ISVA service is confidential and everything you tell us will be kept within OSARCC, unless you give us explicit consent to share information with another agency or individual. We have an organisational confidentiality policy, which means that other OSARCC staff may be able to access these records in exceptional circumstances.

There are some instances in which the ISVA may be obliged to pass on certain information to other organisations, even without your approval. In cases like this, OSARCC will only pass on relevant information and will always try to let you know and involve you when information needs to be shared. These instances include if you give the ISVA identifying information about a child or at-risk adult who is currently or imminently at risk of harm, or if you disclose information that leads the ISVA to believe that you or someone else may be at risk of harm.

For more information about this, please read our Child Protection policy.

Referrals

The ISVA service accept referrals from students themselves and from others, including other University organisations, as long as they are sent with the survivor’s permission. The ISVA can be contacted at OxfordUniISVA@osarcc.org.uk or at our office number 01865 725311.

Once you've made contact, she will phone you or email you for an initial chat and then arrange a time to meet you in a location that's convenient for you. The ISVA can also offer you phone or email support if you feel uncomfortable meeting face-to-face.

 

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