Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Service
The Herts SARC has its own dedicated ISVA service, offering the support of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers to those who have experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse, either recently or in the past.
Hertfordshire has ISVA’s who work with adults, and specialist Young Person ISVA’s, who support those aged 13-17. Our ISVAs support males, females and transgender clients, who live in Hertfordshire.
An Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) can provide you with friendly and professional support, if you have experienced sexual violence or sexual abuse either recently or in the past, and can help you to access additional services you may need.
Following sexual violence or sexual abuse, our ISVAs can help you to work towards recovery and healing, by empowering you as an individual.
How can an ISVA help?
The support provided by an ISVA is free and confidential*, and will vary from case to case, depending on your needs, and your particular circumstances. ISVAs are independent client-focused advocates, who are there to support you.
To see how an ISVA may be able to support you, please click the button below to use our handy decision tool:
Helping you to understand what has happened to you, so that you can identify and prioritise your needs, and work towards recovery— by conducting a thorough risk and needs assessment.
Helping you to access organisations that will aid your recovery, such as counselling, sexual health clinics, etc.
Offering practical advice and support in relation to your safety, health and wellbeing.
Providing information on different areas, such as the law, consent, vulnerability and accessibility, protective behaviours and wellbeing.
Working with other organisations to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Advocating on your behalf, such as explaining your feelings and needs to your family and/or professionals, to make sure you feel heard, understood, and that your needs are being met as much as possible.
Ensuring that you are made aware of all available options, so that you can make informed decisions for yourself, such as deciding if you want to report to the police—if you haven't done so already.
Ensuring that, if you choose to make a formal report, you are kept informed and supported as your case progresses, updating you regularly and liaising with the police, CPS and any legal representatives on your behalf.
Arranging pre-trial visits and supporting you at court, if necessary.
An ISVA will work hard to support you as far as possible. However, in some cases, alternative or additional services should be accessed. ISVA support is not a therapeutic service, but your ISVA will work with you to ascertain what your needs are, and support you to access relevant counselling or therapy.
In an emergency, police and/or medical emergency services should be contacted. Dial 999.
ISVA Client Feedback
“You have been so supportive, kind and caring too and I really want to say a big thank you for all that you have done”
“Speaking with you yesterday has made me feel so much better and less alone and certainly not so overwhelmed I am so grateful”
“Thank you so much. You have no idea how important it was for me to have someone by my side”
“Thank you for everything, from the moment I first met you to now you have really helped me through this, I couldn’t of done it without you”
“Thankyou so much for all your help throughout a very tough time and the time spent together and advice and listening ears you provided were extremely beneficial and for that I truly am thankful”
“For me, it made a huge difference to know that I can actually reach to a person who will indeed listen to me, word by word and take the time to explain to me how I am not damaged and how it is not my fault”
“Thank you for everything you have done for me over the years. It’s because of you and your support that I am now the person I was always meant to be and enjoying the life I should of always had”
If you would like more information regarding this service, or how to access it, please contact the Herts SARC via the telephone number or email address below.
*If your ISVA feels that you, or someone else, is at serious risk of harm, they may have to let someone else know. However, this will be discussed with you first.