Childrens Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (CHISVA)

Our Children Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (CHISVA) service offers practical help, advice & information for victims of rape and sexual abuse. The CHISVA support is offered to anyone who has already reported offences to the police. The Officer in your case should inform you about CHISVA support and make a referral on your behalf.

Who is the CHISVA service for?

The CHISVA service helps anyone who has been the victim of unwanted sexual contact. If you have been raped or sexually abused at any time in your life, our CHISVA service can offer you practical support to deal with your circumstances. Our aim is to help give you the confidence, support and information you need to take control of your situation and move forward.

Our service is available to men, women, children and families, regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the attack.

What does the CHISVA do?

Your CHISVA will support you with all aspects of the Criminal Justice Process, this will include:

  • Liaising on your behalf with the police, witness service, Courts, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), schools, social care and any other professionals involved
  • Making sure the Officer in your case keeps you informed of any developments
  • Advocating on your behalf
  • Supporting you before, during and after court

CHISVA’S will also support you with non-criminal justice matters including:

  • Health services
  • School issues
  • General wellbeing

The CHISVA Service Agreement can be found here

If you would like to refer yourself or someone else into the CHISVA service, please complete the secure form (link below) and the details will be passed securely to an CHISVA who will make contact as soon as possible.

CHISVA Referral Form

The Advocacy part of the title is very important. The CHISVA is independent of all of the agencies which work in and external to the Criminal Justice process. The ISVA main focus is to support you. The CHISVA will (with your permission) ensure your views and feelings are central to the decision making process and whilst the ISVA cannot determine outcomes, they can assist the decision makers to keep your views and wishes in mind at all times and ask (with you and sometimes on your behalf) why a particular decision or course of action has been taken.

Advocacy also means speaking about the rights of victims generally, challenging false ideas about victim behaviour and providing training and inputs to agencies and organisations to improve their understanding and approach to sexual violence issues.

You can also speak to a CHISVA if you are thinking about reporting

If you have told the police about what happened to you or are thinking of telling the police the CHISVA will speak with you about the criminal justice process this means all of the agencies which work on investigation and prosecution of offenders. (This includes the police; the Crown Prosecution service; Court and witness services.)

If your case proceeds to Court the CHISVA will accompany you when you go to give your evidence.

You may have never been to a police station, SARC or Court before. The CHISVA can assist you to understand how they all work, what you can expect from different agencies, how to ask questions and find out about what is happening in your case. The ISVA may also assist you to understand why decisions are taken for example not to proceed with a criminal investigation move to a prosecution.

Making a referral:

If you would like to refer yourself or someone into the CHISVA service, please complete the secure form (link below) and the details will be passed securely to an ISVA who will make contact within 48 hours:
CHISVA Referral Form

Statistic Image

1 in 2 rapes against women are carried out by their partner or ex partner