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Role Profile: Neurodiverse Independent Sexual Violence Advisor

Claire is our Neurodiverse ISVA, working with neurodiverse clients and advising the team on how to ensure our services are accessible, understandable, and supportive for everyone who needs them.

Tell us about it:

Claire Lee is our Neurodiverse ISVA. She holds a caseload for the ISVA services to get on top of the Court Contact experience and understand the role better.

Neirodiversity is a broad spectrum, and so the way it affects people varies greatly. However, we know that neurodiversity can be a barrier to accessing the support that organisations offer to people have experienced Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. It can also be a reason people choose not to report to the police and have less trust in those institutions, sometimes due to a lack of proper understanding and training.

We created the Neurodiverse ISVA role to help people overcome those barriers and ensure we are equipped to support everyone who needs us. Claire strives to make sure that all of her clients feel listened to, supported and validated.

Many people who live with neurodiversity can be more vulnerable, and can require higher levels support to get through day to day life, so when they face the additional trauma and stress of Domestic Abuse or Sexual Violence, this can be harder to navigate. When facing a complex and inaccessible justice system, Claire hopes to demystify this process and ensure that her clients have a voice.

Claire says, ‘for neurodiverse people, being asked to navigate the legal system is like asking someone to climb mount Everest without a rope – but my job is to be the rope. We can’t make the mountain any smaller, but we can make it easier to reach the summit.’

Why do you think your role is important?

Claire likes working with all the different people and professionals as well as those who have been affected. Making an impact and knowing you’ve played a part in making things better for people make it worth it. Claire thinks it’s important to advocate for vulnerable people, ensuring that some of the people who might otherwise slip through the net are receiving the support they need. She’s also committed to improving awareness of DA across health services and helping other agencies be more trauma aware.