I’m LGBT/a man – can I have an ISVA?

Our ISVA service supports anyone who lives in Cambridgeshire and has experienced sexual violence, irrespective of age, gender, background, or how long ago the offence happened.

Can I meet my ISVA at the weekend?

Our ISVAs work office hours, so they are not able to meet you in the evening or at the weekend. They can travel to meet you at a safe and convenient location and see you during the day at a time when it is suitable for you.

Do the ISVAs tell the police what I say?

The ISVA service is confidential and entirely independent from other agencies. The only situation that may require an ISVA to share any of your information is where a child or vulnerable person may be at risk of harm. ISVAs do not share information with the police, although sometimes the police or CPS may request a copy of ISVA records as part of their investigation. These will not be shared without your consent and you can discuss any concerns you have about confidentiality with your ISVA at your first meeting. Our confidentiality policy is also available for download if you want further information.

What if I don’t want to see an ISVA?

You should only be referred to the service with your consent, and ISVAs will only work with you if you want them to. If you don’t feel ready to see an ISVA or if you feel that you don’t need the support at the moment, you can ask for your case to be closed any time. If you change your mind in the future, we welcome people getting back in touch any time.

What happens when I am referred?

Our administrator will call you for a chat to find our more about your current situation, what types of support you would find most useful and what areas you most want help with. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes. If the person being referred is under the age of 16, the administrator will usually also speak to their parent or legal guardian.

When the service is especially busy, it can take a little longer to be seen by an ISVA. If this is the case when you are referred to us, our administrator will keep in contact with you while you are waiting, so that you can speak to someone about any changes in your circumstances or concerns that you may have.

How do I get referred?

You can refer yourself for support from the ISVA service by going to the Cambridge & Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership website and filling in the online referral form there. You will also be given the option to access the ISVA service if you report a sexual offence to the police or attend a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for a forensic medical examination.

What kind of support can I get from my ISVA?

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

How do I stay in touch with my ISVA?

When you are assigned to an ISVA, she will give you her contact number and email address, so you can keep in touch by text, phone and email, whichever you prefer. Your ISVA will also arrange face-to-face meetings at safe times and locations that are convenient for you.

What is the difference between an ISVA and a ChISVA?

An ISVA usually works with adult survivors, so anyone aged 19 and over. A ChISVA usually works with anyone aged 18 and under, as well as their families if appropriate. Everyone in the Ch/ISVA team has the ability to work with anyone, of any age.