Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy

Our Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) provides emotional and practical support and advice to women survivors of sexual violence.  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
  • Be an independent supporter alongside you throughout the criminal justice process, up to and including trial
  • Contact other agencies and advocate on your belief (e.g. police, housing, doctor etc.)
  • Signpost or refer you to other types of support in your local area (e.g. counselling)
  • Support you to complain to the police or other agencies

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, but will not try to influence you to take any particular course of action.  She will support the decisions you make and will not judge you.

Who the service is for

The ISVA service is open to any self-identifying woman over the age of eighteen years old who is a survivor of sexual abuse and/or rape, whether in the past or recently, as a child or as an adult.

In line with OSARCC’s current policy on women-only space, we cannot offer ISVA support to anyone who does not identify as a woman.  However, every effort will be made to identify appropriate services for men and non-binary people.

Confidentiality

All queries will be treated in confidence and your details will not be shared with any other organisation.

Any information you share with the ISVA will be kept confidential within OSARCC.  Some information about women receiving ISVA support may be shared between other OSARCC team members and the OSARCC clinical supervisor.

We maintain boundaries of confidentiality between the ISVA service and OSARCC’s phone, email and text listening services, so that women receiving ISVA support can still access these services as an alternative, confidential support mechanism. 

We will only break confidentiality if you ask us to, or if you’ve given us relevant information that makes us concerned for your or somebody else’s safety. For more information about this, please read our Child Protection policy.

Referrals

We accept referrals from survivors themselves and from others, including other organisations, who have the survivor’s permission. Find more information about making a referral.

Once you've made contact, the ISVA will phone you for an initial chat and then arrange a time to meet you in a location that's convenient for you.