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Sexual violence and the justice system

Sexual violence and the justice system

Reporting to the Police is a huge decision and must always be your choice.

Our ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) will never put pressure on you to report and will not judge you but support whatever decision you make. There is no time limit to when you must report a sexual crime, so you may want to talk your options through with one of our ISVAs before making your decision.


If you do decide to report, your dedicated ISVA can help you along your legal journey all the way from reporting through to going to court, providing advice and information, discussing your options and liaising with other agencies that may be involved before and after the trial. They can also make referrals or signpost you for other specialist support you might request. Your ISVA will help you by:

  • Helping you understand the criminal justice processes and let you know what is happening every step of the way.
  • Arranging a pre-trial visit so that you know what to expect when you go to court.
  • Helping you to write a Victim Impact Statement.
  • Requesting special measures at court, such as a screen so that you do not have to face your perpetrator.
  • Continuing to support you after the trial, whatever the outcome.

“She helped me understand the process and never judged me or talked me into doing anything I didn’t want to do. I decided not to report but feel safe and able to put the past behind me. She made sure we took some time to build a relationship before court, she made sure I knew she was there for me, she called me by first name and challenged things at court to make sure I felt safe and was able to give my evidence.”

Survivor stories

Play Video about Jennifer

Jennifer’s video

Jennifer talks about her experience of taking her abuser to court and how important her ISVA was in this process.

Play Video about Shane

Shane’s video

Shane talks about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and his experience working with one of our ISVAs.

Learn more...

Dedicated sexual violence and abuse website

Our sexual violence website takes a deeper look at the different types of sexual abuse, the myths around rape and includes information on surviving and reporting abuse.
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