Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)
We hope to share more information on ANBU UK ISVA service in July 2021
Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) play an important role in providing specialist tailored support to victims and survivors of sexual violence. An ISVA is an adviser who works with people who have experienced rape and sexual assault, irrespective of whether they have reported to the police. The nature of the support that an ISVA provides will vary from case to case and will depend on the needs of the individual and their particular circumstances.
ISVAs are trained to look after the needs of their clients, and to ensure that they receive care and understanding. They help victim-survivors to understand how the criminal justice process works, and explain things such as what will happen if they report to the police, and the importance and process of forensic DNA retrieval. ISVAs are there to provide clients with the information they need to make the right decision for them. They do not pressure clients into reporting any offence to the police. They are a figure of trust, empathy and respect.
Key ISVA responsibilities include:
providing practical and emotional support to the victim/survivor that has experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives;
helping the victim/survivor understand the potential impact of sexual violence and abuse on health and well being;
dispelling myths and stereotypes surrounding sexual violence to challenge feelings of shame and blame;
supporting family members where appropriate by helping them to understand the potential impact of sexual violence and signposting to available support services;
responding to any concerns that the victim/survivor may have regarding the investigation, specialist support services, impact on work, education and relationships.