Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) Service
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors are based at our Telford and Shrewsbury Offices.
The service is available to male and female victims, aged 11 years and over, and the parents of victims aged 10 and below.
ISVAs are victim focused support workers and advocates who provide independent practical support and assistance to victims of sexual violence regardless of whether the assault took place recently or in the past.
The ISVA service is an independent, non-judgemental and confidential service which works closely with relevant agencies to ensure you get the best possible advice, information, access to services and support that you need in the aftermath of a rape or sexual assault.
In brief the service ISVAs provide includes:
- Risk assess and help keep clients safe.
- Develop an Individual Support Plan dependent on your needs
- Detailed understanding of the criminal justice and court process
- Support in reporting an assault to the police if you choose to do so
- Attendance with you at any police interviews or court proceedings
- Help with accessing other services such as health screening and counselling
- Advice on housing, benefits, education, training, employment and financial issues
- Regular and ongoing telephone contact and/or face to face meetings
- Advice and support with Criminal Injuries Compensation.
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
Axis ISVA service has three Independent Sexual Violence Advisors who provide specialist support to children and young people aged 11 to 17 years, who have been victims of any form of sexual abuse/violence, including sexual exploitation and trafficking.
An ISVA can travel out to see young people in school or college or a safe meeting place.
ISVAs will risk assess and work with other relevant agencies in order to safeguard children and young people from further harm.
You can self refer by calling the ISVA team on 01743 243007 (Shropshire) or 01952 586790 (Telford & Wrekin).
Axis also takes referrals from the police, health services, education and other organisations. Completed referral forms should be forwarded securely via email@example.com or faxed to Shrewsbury on 01743 357777 or 01952 278000.
If you do not have access to a secure email account or a fax, please call the office to arrange an alternative secure means of forwarding.
Where a referral is received from an external agency, contact will be made with the client within 72 hours. The ISVA will conduct an initial risk assessment by telephone in order to identify any immediate risks. An overview of the service will be provided and an appointment arranged at a mutually agreeable time. At the first appointment a comprehensive needs and risk assessment will be completed and an individual support plan developed in consultation with the client’s needs and wishes.
The service is confidential and no information will be shared without consent unless it involves matters of vulnerable adult or child protection or identifies persons at risk of serious harm.
Where there is a Police investigation the ISVA service may be legally obliged to share information for the purpose of third party disclosure. This will be explained to you during your initial appointment.
VISUAL EVIDENCE FOR VICTIMS (VEV)
If you are a victim of violent crime, photographs can be very useful as evidence. If you are not ready to report to the police the ISVA is trained to record photographic evidence of physical injuries and damage to property caused by incidents such as sexual or domestic abuse, should you wish to. This evidence is then stored securely for up to six years or when you choose to report the crime. We do not collect forensic evidence – this can only be done by the police or another approved agency using early evidence kits.
VEV is a free, confidential service for victims of violent crime or criminal damage over the age of 18.