Our Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs) offer practical and emotional support, ensuring that your views, opinions, wishes and feelings are respected, and listened to by all agencies and people involved.
We can support you by:
– Ensuring your individual views, opinions, wishes and needs are understood, respected, listened to and met by all the agencies supporting you. The Victims’ Code outlines the minimum level of service and response that you are entitled to (see below). While there is no legal requirement under the Victims’ Code for the agencies supporting you to uphold these levels, our ISVA team will advocate on your behalf to ensure that your needs are understood, respected, listened to and met by all agencies supporting you.
– Offering crisis support, or answering any question, worry or concern you might have which relates to the sexual abuse you’ve experienced.
– Giving you information if you’re unsure of whether you want to report to the police or not.
– Offering emotional and practical help if you have already reported to ensure you understand and receive your legal rights and entitlements, e.g. special measures in court where you give evidence from behind a screen or via a video link.
– Offering compassionate support to the people who are supporting you, your partner, family and friends, so that they can better support you.
– Arranging appointments, referring you to, or providing you with emotional support over the telephone, when you need to attend other support services, such as Umbrella Sexual Health services (see below), domestic abuse support, and some types of health appointments e.g. hospital, doctors, dentists, opticians.
– Our ISVAs can offer support before, during and after certain types of health appointments, which you may find distressing or triggering due to the sexual abuse you were subjected to. We can even chaperone you to some health appointments, such as intimate medical healthcare, to ensure that your needs and wishes are understood and that you don’t feel alone. If you would like to have this type of support, please call our ISVA team on 0121 643 0301 (option 2) to discuss how we can help and read more on our health support page.
– Informing you of other options you might have such as Civil Action, Criminal Injuries, Compensation Award, self-reporting, and anonymous reporting.
At RSVP we also have a Children’s ISVA service for children and young people up to the age of 17, an LGBT ISVA service to provide specialist support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans survivors, and a sex worker ISVA service to support individuals who are involved in sex work who are currently being or have in the past been subjected to sexual violence, abuse and exploitation.
Please call us, we’re happy to talk to you about other support available.
RSVP and Umbrella Health provide a dedicated sexual health clinic offering specialised services to support anyone aged 13 or over who has been subjected to sexual violence, abuse or exploitation at any time in their lives. Find out more about the Abuse Survivors Clinic and about their other sexual health services too.
The Victims’ Code (2020)
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (The Victims’ Code) is a statutory code that sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive from the criminal justice system. For more information about The Victims’ Code, please click here. For any easy read version of The Victims’ Code, please click here.
The Victims’ Code (2020): For Under 18s
The Victims’ Code has a special section for under 18s because they should get extra support. To read an adapted version of The Victims’ Code for under 18s, please click here.