Our ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) understand the complexities of the trauma that victims and survivors will go through during and after experiencing sexual violence or abuse. They can work alongside you whether you decide to report or not.
Our ISVAs offer the time and space for you to express your feelings about what has happened to you. They will listen to you, believe you, not judge you and work alongside you to help you to build confidence and self-esteem, as well as with any practical issues you may be facing.
People who have been subjected to sexual violence or abuse often receive conflicting messages about what has happened to them and how they should or shouldn’t have responded. This message may be given or perceived through what is seen on social media or how sexual assaults are reported in the news. It may also come from friends and family and can be very upsetting and confusing for victims. These messages are often a result of misogyny or myths around gender and stereotypes and can lead to victim-blaming, resulting in victims and survivors feeling guilt and shame.
Your ISVA will help you to make sense of what has happened to you and provide advice on strategies to cope and recover from the pain and hurt of the sexual violence you have experienced. They can also support you to access other services, such as counselling or drug and alcohol support.
“My support with IDAS was absolutely amazing. The staff are understanding. They make you feel at home straight away and make you at ease where you feel like you could open up to another person.”
Jennifer talks about her experience of taking her abuser to court and how important her ISVA was in this process.
Shane talks about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and his experience working with one of our ISVAs.
IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.