“When I finally got up the courage to tell the police what had happened to me as a child, the whirlwind of reporting happened. I told my story. What I had kept hidden away for years has been ripped out of me multiple times in what felt like the worst possible way.
I was lost, I didn’t really know what was going on. I felt incredibly low and when my doctor didn’t support me I was left feeling far worse. Nobody cared, I was alone and I hurt so much, how was I going to keep going?
Along came my ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advocate), a phone call that made me know I wasn’t alone. Support I didn’t even know existed was out there and all of a sudden I could keep going because I had a place to ask all the questions I had.
My court case took almost four years from reporting to sentencing. During that time my ISVA was amazing, she put my mind at rest with answers to all my questions. She helped me prepare for court and dealt with the last minute changes and problems.
My ISVA had taken me from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘Someone cares and I can totally do this’.
On the day, my ISVA was completely invaluable. She stayed with me throughout the whole day and gave me amazing advice on self-care for after court. When the case ended she called me about next steps and other things that could potentially happen. She also arranging counselling sessions at Cambridge Rape Crisis (CRCC) for me.
About a month later, after sentencing had happened, we had a call where she officially signed me off. This was a very emotional call for me. It felt sad to say goodbye to someone who had supported me so much but amazing because it was like she was the official person who said “It’s okay, you did it, it’s all over and you can start your new life now”.
The support from CRCC’s advocacy service from start to finish was something that I really don’t have enough words to explain.
My ISVA was a guardian angel who was completely invaluable and made the whole process easier. I can honestly say that I would not have made it through my court case without her. The CRCC advocacy service is a vital service for survivors and I’m so thankful it’s one that was around when I needed it.”