If you have been the victim of rape or sexual assault in the last ten days, and you have not attended a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), please phone us on 01970 610124.
The special facilities provided by the New Pathways SARC includes access to a forensic medical examination, which is carried out by an experienced and qualified doctor, and the opportunity to talk to the police about what has happened, if that is what you wish to do.
As a SARC client will also receive help and advice from one of the Crisis Workers who can offer support and stay with you throughout the whole process. SARC services can be accessed 24 hours a day, every day, including all public holidays.
Often victims of rape and sexual assault can feel that they have limited choices and believe that telling someone what happened to them will result in events quickly spiraling out of control. However, SARC services are always client focused and designed to ensure that clients receive all of the information and support they need.
If you are interested in SARC services please contact New Pathways on 01685 379310 or click here to visit their website.
Support from Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs)
Whether you have chosen to contact a SARC or not, everyone is able to access support from an ISVA. The role of the ISVA is to provide ongoing support for a client up to, and including, any pending or potential court cases. This support includes liaising with others on your behalf and keeping you regularly updated about any developments. This can include speaking to the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, health professionals, housing associations, employees etc. The aim of doing this is to take as much pressure as possible off a client’s shoulders and enable them to concentrate on feeling better.
ISVAs are able to accompany you to appointments, if you require, and will offer support to you during a court case. They will also arrange a pre-court visit so that you are able to have a look at the court room before the case and get an understanding of what will happen and where you will have to sit to give evidence etc. Clients find that this helps them to reduce their anxiety prior to the court hearing.
Our ISVAs are not counsellors. However, they are highly competent and skilled support workers. As such they are able to talk to you about your emotional wellbeing, provide you with positive coping strategies and allow you a safe and confidential space where you can talk about how you are feeling. Support is provided either face to face or by telephone (or usually both) and it will be at a level and frequency that is appropriate for your needs.
What happens after the court case or if it does not go to court?
Once the court case has ended, regardless of the outcome, or if the Crown Prosecution Service decides that there is insufficient evidence to proceed to court, you will be offered the opportunity to speak to one of our counsellors. Quite often clients find that the support they have received from the ISVA is sufficient and they decline this offer. However we know that some clients suffer high levels of trauma as a result of their experiences and require ongoing specialist counselling. If you are interested in finding out more about our counselling please click here.