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Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)

If you have reported or are thinking about reporting rape or sexual abuse, it’s likely that you will have a lot of questions and may need more information before you can decide what to do.

What is an ISVA?

ISVA stands for Independant Sexual Violence Advisor. This service gives you free and confidential access to a specially trained advisor, who can offer you practical help and support.

An ISVA is completely independent of all other agencies and the police. Their only interest is in supporting you. They can support you whether you choose to report to the police or not. It is their role to make sure that you have the information you need to make an informed choice.

If you do report, they will work with the various agencies on your behalf, to make sure you have all the relevant information about your case and ensure that your voice and opinion is heard throughout the investigation.

How can they help me?

An ISVA can support by:

• Making sure you have the information you need to decide what to do about your experience of abuse.

• If you choose to make a report to the police, an ISVA can keep you updated on the progress of the case. They can support you by liaising with the police officer and Crown Prosecution Service on your behalf.

• Providing emotional support and assistance with practical issues.

• If the case goes to court, arranging for a pre-trial visit, and support you with what to expect in the build up to trial.

• Provide support during the trial and in the period afterwards to help you move forward.

• Work on your behalf to ensure that your rights under the victim’s code of practice are met.

• Provide support to access counselling and other services.

I’m not sure if this service is right for me

If you have any questions about our ISVA Service and if this is the right support for you, we are more than happy to answer any questions.

You can contact us on 01642 822331 or via

How to refer

ARCH provide a non-judgemental, confidential service and we try to make referring to us as easy as we can.

To self-refer, please read and complete a Self-Referral form.

If you are a professional/ organisation and want to refer a client for our ISVA support, you can do so using our Professional Referral Form.

If you have any questions about or problems with the online forms, please contact our referrals team on 01642 822335, and we will do our best to help you.

Quality Standards

Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW) is the National Umbrella organisation for specialist rape crisis centres. The National Service Standards (NSS) are provide a quality assurance framework that enables services to demonstrate how their services are provided within professional frameworks that prioritise safety, governance, empowerment and continuous improvement.

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BACP Accreditation recognises the achievement of high standards of knowledge, experience and development in counselling and psychotherapy.

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