Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, or ISVAs, offer practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted, recently or in the past. They provide support and care and will help you to access the services you need.

ISVAs support victims through the process, whether or not your case goes to trial, and afterwards.

The support provided by an ISVA will vary from case to case, depending on the needs of the victim and their particular circumstances. The most serious cases will be referred to an ISVA, who will make sure that victims of sexual abuse have the best advice on:

  • what counselling and other services are available to them
  • the process involved in reporting a crime to the police
  • taking their case through the criminal justice process, should they choose to do so

The ISVA service can also help you:

  • By providing emotional support
  • By helping you develop your coping strategies & support network
  • By helping you get other specialist support, e.g. counselling, mental health, sexual health, substance and alcohol misuse.
  • By talking through your options if you have not reported your incident to the police.
  • By helping you communicate with the police.
  • By providing information & support with the Criminal Justice System
  • By supporting you through the court process

The role of the ISVA was originally championed by the Home Office in 2006, after they saw the success of a few inspirational people supporting victims to access the support they needed following a sexual assault.

Everyone reacts to sexual abuse differently, and there is no right or wrong way.

"Coming to see the ISVA today was a very scary thought I can honestly say I was put at ease from the start, its made me glad I came, I have been treated with the upmost respect and have felt very sage and able to talk about things I’ve kept to myself for years. For the first time I can see a light at the end of a very long tunnel".

(from a survivor following an initial assessment with an ISVA)

The ISVA service can be accessed whether the matter is reported to the Police or not.


In an emergency call


In a non-emergency call


To report crime anonymously call Crimestoppers

0800 555 111

To report a hate crime anonymously call Stop Hate UK

0800 138 1625

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