Sexual violence

If you have been affected by sexual violence you might experience short and long term emotional and physical effects, which can have a big impact on your life.

If you have been raped, sexually assaulted or abused you might go through a number of different emotions. You might feel numb, angry, scared, confused, or even guilty. Everyone reacts to traumatic experiences differently and has their own way of coping; there is no right or wrong way to react.

Nobody has the right to attack you or make you do things you don’t want to do. Please remember that what happened wasn’t your fault and that you are not to blame for what another person did to you.

Help and support

You will be able to speak to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). ISVAs give practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped, sexually assaulted or abused at any time in their life.

It doesn’t matter whether the crime has been reported to the police. You can speak to your ISVA in person, over the phone, via email or by text.
Your ISVA will respond sensitively to your needs and will support you at your pace. They are your advocate and will work with you to find out what kind of support you need. They will only give you the support you choose and will work with you for as long as you want

Your ISVA can:

• Assess your needs.
• Provide information and advice to help you think through your options.
• Work with other agencies to make sure that you are safe.
• Help you get external counselling or mental health services if necessary.
• Support you with sexual health issues and appointments.
• Support you with housing concerns.
• Give information about other specialist services such as drug and alcohol agencies.
• Making referrals to these agencies with your consent.
• Support you at appointments such as with your GP, GUM (genitourinary medicine clinic), police interviews or housing offices.

Reporting to the police

Your ISVA will support you regardless of whether you chose to make a report or not.
If you do decide to report the crime to the police your ISVA will:

• Keep you up-to-date with your case.
• Explain legal jargon and processes.
• Offer you a pre-court visit.
• Explain ways in which the trial could be made easier for you.
• Attend court with you.
• Support you whatever the outcome.
• Guide you in applying for criminal injuries compensation following the trial.