Hi, my name is Ifana and I am the ISVA for Mid Wales Rape Support Centre.
“ISVA is an abbreviation for Independent Sexual Violence Advocate. It is such a long-winded job title that most people just shorten it to ‘ISVA’.
My main role is to help clients through the process of a criminal investigation and any subsequent court case.
I am not a counsellor. I am trained to support people emotionally and practically through the legal system by making sure they have all of the information needed to make informed decisions about the case. It doesn’t matter if clients have reported to the police or not; I can still explain the process and answer any questions they might have.
I work for Mid Wales Rape Support Centre – not the Police, CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) or for the Courts, therefore, I have no other agenda than to support clients and to represent their best interests.
For some people, the thought of seeking justice through the courts is too much to cope with and for a variety of reasons; they decide to withdraw from the criminal justice process. This is fully understandable and I respect their decision wholeheartedly. However, there are other choices and I can explain these options to clients.
Sometimes clients are more concerned about other issues (housing, social, debt) that are preventing them from sleeping or impacting on day to day life. We discuss these at our first meeting and I will make any relevant arrangement or appointments on my client’s behalf. I will also update clients of any information relevant to their case (if applicable) and make regular contact with the police with regards to case developments.
If a court case is pending, we will talk about ‘what to expect’ and perhaps visit the court so that clients can familiarise themselves with the layout of the court and exactly what will happen on the day they need to attend. I will explain about the special measures that can be requested to help with the testimony and accompany clients to any court dates where they are requested to attend.
If you feel that I could be of help or have any further questions, then please ring our office on (01970) 610124.