``If it wasn't for my ISVA, I don't think I would still be here.``
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs)
Some people are not aware that sexual violence services can support men or non-binary people, but our services are for everyone.
If you are a male or non-binary victim of rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse you can access exactly the same level of service and support from New Pathways and we would encourage you to speak to us.
If you want to know more about the role of an ISVA you can read Home Office Guide, Essential Elements of the ISVA Role. The guidance sets out the ISVA core principles which include tailoring the support to the needs of each individual victim and survivor; providing accurate and impartial information to victims and survivors of sexual violence; providing emotional and practical support to meet the needs of the victim or survivor.
If you choose to report, ISVAs will provide support before, during and after any potential court case. They are independent of any other organisation or agency, including the police.
If you are accessing our counselling and wellbeing services, and are thinking of reporting to the police, we will arrange for an ISVA to give you a call.
You can also self-refer to our ISVA services by calling us on 01685 379 310.
Our ISVAs can help you with any of the following:
- Support with potential court cases
- Supporting you at appointments
- Talking to you about your emotional wellbeing, positive coping strategies and allowing you a safe and confidential space where you can talk
If there is a court case, your ISVA will arrange a pre-court visit so that you are able to have a look at the court room and get an understanding of what will happen. There are also special measures and supports that an ISVA can talk you through, such as being able to give evidence via a remote court link so you do not need to go to court.
Your ISVA will encourage you to identify any ongoing needs and to develop a support plan which helps to meet these needs.
ISVA support is provided face-to-face, by telephone, or online. ISVAs are flexible and the support may change throughout your time, depending on your needs.
Copies of our ISVA policies and procedures are available by request through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Duty to Keep Children Safe
If a child is suffering, has suffered or is likely to be at risk of harm, it is our responsibility to ensure that our concerns are referred to social services or the police. Whenever possible we would discuss this with you and listen to any concerns you may have, which we will take seriously.
All our ISVAs complete nationally accredited specialist training. Our adult, child and young people’s ISVA services are accredited through LimeCulture.
If you are involved in a court case, there is the option of a short period of pre-trial therapy.
Clients can re-engage with the ISVA service, especially when there may be updates following a conviction and prison sentence, e.g. around parole.
Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
Our SARCs are completely focussed on you and what you want and need. You might be concerned about telling someone about what happened to you because you don’t want to get the police involved, or because you don’t know what your options or rights are. Our services are confidential, and will listen and we will believe you, and there is never any pressure to report to the police.
You can find out more about what a SARC is and the support you will receive in the videos below:
When you arrive, our crisis worker will meet you, talk you through your options and support you through the process. We do this at your pace. The choices are always yours, and New Pathways will support you with whichever options you choose. Our SARC has a friends and family room and drink facilities, so if you bring someone with you, they can wait comfortably.
We will listen and we will believe you. Our crisis workers will make sure you have the right information and support, whether you choose to have police involvement or not. At our SARCs, we can work with the police on your behalf and support you to speak with them. We can also support you through a forensic medical examination with a trained doctor at our premises.
We can also offer first aid and advice; medical aftercare and referrals for treatment of sexually transmitted disease (STIs); sexual health guidance; and specialist support in the days, weeks and months after, including wellbeing support, counselling and ISVA support.
You may decide that you want counselling and support without reporting to the police. One of the team till give you the information you need to be make an informed decision on which option is right for you.
If you wish to make a police report you can download helpful information here.
Our Duty to Keep Children Safe
If a child is suffering, has suffered or is likely to be at risk of harm, it is our responsibility to ensure that our concerns are referred to social services or the police.
We will always discuss this with you and listen to any concerns you may have which we will take seriously.
In Wales there is now a specific paediatric pathway, so all children under the age of 13 may be directed to a specific SARC to have the specialist medical support that they need.
Some people are not aware that sexual violence services can support men or non-binary people, but our SARCs are for everyone.
If you are a male or non-binary victim of rape or sexual assault you can access exactly the same level of service and support from New Pathways and we would encourage you to speak to us. Our staff are highly sensitive to the needs of all of our clients, and we have ISVAs who are trained to work with specifically with different communities. We have ISVAs who are specialists in working with males, LGBTQ+ people, people from black or other ethnic minority communities, traveller communities, older persons, children and young people, people with complex mental health issues, people with disabilities or learning differences, and those who have been affected by domestic abuse or human trafficking.
If you decide to go to the police, they will contact us to organise for you to come to our SARC. However, if you do not want to go to the police, you can refer yourself to our SARCs.
During office hours, 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday, and 9am-4.30pm Fridays, you can call us on 01685 379 310, or call one of our local offices. Outside of these hours, you can call our out of hours support on 07423 437 020.
There are SARCs in all regions of Wales.
If you are unsure about anything related to accessing a SARC, you can speak to one of our ISVAs. Please see information above for the ISVA service.
An examination is to gather any forensic evidence that may be available. This may include making a record of injuries and collecting any DNA evidence.
A crisis worker will explain the process and show you the examination room beforehand if you wish, and will be with you to support you through the process. You can choose to stop or take a break at any time. We understand that this is an intimate process, and the crisis worker and the FME will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable and answer any questions you may have. You can also choose to have a family member or friend accompany you instead of the crisis worker.
Following the exam, you will be able to have a shower in a private bathroom, you will be given your own personal toiletries kit, and clothing. We have sizes to cater for everyone.
The interview can take place straight away, or the following day. During the interview, you may request for the crisis worker to be present. They will not be able to speak for you during the interview, but you may find it more comfortable to have them there as a support.
Most police forces now have a dedicated team of officers who investigate sexual offences and they are approachable, very experienced in this field and sensitive to your needs.