Independent Sexual Violence Advocate Service
Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership (CAPRCP) offers practical information and advocacy support for survivors of sexual violence through its Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) service. The adult ISVA service works with people aged 19 and over and the Children and Young People’s ISVA (ChISVA) supports survivors aged 18 and under. The role was introduced in 2006 as part of a Home Office-led initiative to improve outcomes for victims of these crimes.
ISVAs offer practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted, recently or in the past. They can help you to access other available support services to address both short- and long-term needs. They can support you through the criminal justice system, providing information on what happens when you report to the police.
You do not have to report to the police to get support from an ISVA. They can help those who are not reporting to access support for their emotional needs as well as help with safety planning. They can help you understand how the criminal justice process works, such as what will happen if you report to the police, what will happen if you report anonymously or the importance and process of forensic DNA retrieval.
ISVAs will support you in a non-judgmental way to work with you to identify your needs and ensure that other agencies provide you with information.
Our ISVA and ChISVA service supports anyone who lives in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough and has experienced sexual violence, irrespective of age, gender, background, or how long ago the offence happened.
It varies according to your needs. ISVAs can help with:
- providing impartial information and advice to those considering reporting sexual offences
- understanding the criminal justice process and supporting people from report to court as well as in the months following a trial
- liaising with the police, if you have reported the crime
- providing emotional support
- supporting your welfare and safety through a process of risk assessment and safety planning
- advocating on your behalf to enable you to exert some influence on processes that concern you
- providing practical help with issues such as housing and benefits
- putting you in touch with other services that may benefit you, such as specialist counselling or domestic violence support
- referring to agencies who can help you with specialist needs, such as counselling, sexual health, mental health, substance misuse and housing
- assisting you to apply for criminal injuries compensation