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Devon and Cornwall Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) Service

Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) help to ease any anxiety you have about going to court by explaining and simplifying the complexities of the legal process.

Devon and Cornwall Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) Service

Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) help to ease any anxiety you have about going to court by explaining and simplifying the complexities of the legal process.

Your dedicated Advisor will represent you at interviews and court appearances and help by being your voice and advocating for you when you feel overwhelmed. All of our ISVAs have completed National Accredited Training.
They’ll be with you every step of the way.
You can access sexual violence support services by calling 03458 121212, or make a secure referral online.

The journey of pursuing justice and finding closure through the courts isn’t always straightforward. It requires a huge amount of strength to understand what’s happening and to cope with the emotional turmoil. We will help you through this difficult time: to help you to fight, to process and to emerge on the other side.

ISVA Support Team

You will be contacted by the ISVA Support Team within 24 hours of receipt of the referral.  The ISVA Support Team will check in with you every 6 weeks via text and create a plan to meet remotely via Teams/WhatsApp or a phone call every 8 weeks, or less frequently if that’s your preference.

The ISVA Support Team are here for you when you need them, you can contact the support team anytime for support and advice.

Dedicated ISVA

You’ll be assigned a dedicated ISVA when one is available in your area. They will provide continued support, with the option for face-face support, throughout the criminal justice process and accompany you to court if needed.

We also have specific, specially trained ISVAs including:

  • a male ISVA working specifically with men who prefer not to work with a female,
  • a neurodiverse ISVA working with clients with diverse needs,
  • LGBTQ+ ISVAs who understand the particular needs of this community.

You can digitally view or download our ISVA leaflets here, or Easy Read here.

Having someone on my side and emotionally supportive was so important to keep me going when things were really tough.”

How we work

The Sexual Violence Advisory service provides support for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse recently or in the past. We can provide support whether you’ve already reported an incident to the police, or you’re looking for more advice on how to do this.

Having a previous conviction does not mean that you cannot receive support from an ISVA, but we do need to know about your previous criminal history to make sure we provide the best support for your needs. You can access our Protocol for Working with Offenders here.

If you have reported the incident to the police or have been supported at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), you’ll be offered a referral into this service. You can also self-refer. This is a free, confidential and independent service that isn’t linked to the police.

If you wish to feedback on the ISVA service please click here and complete the form.

Supporting you

All referrals will be contacted within 24 hrs (working hours) of receipt of the referral. We’ll ensure you have all the information you need to make informed choices about your future. We will be with you for the entire journey through the criminal justice system and can provide:

  • a confidential and independent service,
  • frequency of contact based on your needs,
  • information and support on your options around reporting a crime to police, including assistance to submit anonymous intelligence,
  • fast-track access to other agencies and services,
  • a full explanation of the Criminal Justice system,
  • one-to-one support and guidance through the investigation and court process,
  • attendance as your representative at interviews and court appearances,
  • liaison between you, the police, Crown Prosecution service and barristers etc,
  • pre-court visits,
  • introductions to witness care staff,
  • assistance with criminal injuries compensation,
  • help with coping skills,
  • information on other services you may need such as health and social care, housing, or benefits,
  • help to access recovery services when your criminal justice journey ends.
Being witness to the trajectory between the broken individual at the start of the criminal justice process and the strong and empowered person at the end makes my job so rewarding.” First Light ISVA

Our other services

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support

Safer Futures provides individuals with advice and support to be safe and to recover from the effects of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Plymouth Sexual Violence Counselling

We support people who have been affected by sexual violence, by providing short-term therapy and counselling.
The first point of contact if you’ve experienced recent rape and serious sexual assault in Wiltshire.