A CPS guide for victims of rape and sexual abuse – What support is available to help you

Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (also called ISVAs) can provide professional support, advice and help for victims of sexual violence, whether you report to the police or not. If you do report the incident to the police, your adviser can support you through the criminal justice process including accompanying you on the day of trial or a pre-trial court visit.

There are three national umbrella groups who provide ISVA services:

The Survivors Trust 

Rape Crisis

Male Survivors Partnership

There are two local ISVA organisations 

Axis Counselling – covering Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin 

Our Services – WMRSASC – covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire 

You can contact any of these organisations to find out more about ISVA services and to request an ISVA. You can also ask the police to refer you to an ISVA service.

There are specialist services that provide counselling and therapy for victims of rape and serious sexual assault. You can find more information from the following organisations:

Axis Counselling – free confidential counselling for victims and survivors living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin 

Our Services – WMRSASC – free confidential counselling for victims and survivors covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire 

Services – The Holly Project – covering the Telford and Wrekin area offering a free service to anyone who is engaging with the Holly Project service.

You can also access counselling and other psychological therapies from the NHS.

You should prioritise your wellbeing and there is no need to delay therapy or counselling for any reason connected with a criminal investigation or prosecution. If you feel it would help it’s important to access it as early as possible.

The Witness Service, which is run by Citizens Advice, can help you to understand what to expect at court by offering you pre-trial support and a visit to the court in advance of the day.  This means they will show you around a court and explain what will happen on the day.

They will also be there to support you on the day of trial and can come with you into the courtroom if you’d find that helpful. The police can refer you to the Witness Service or you can request support from them yourself by filling in their short form.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate victims of violent crime.

You may be entitled to compensation if you have suffered an injury or a loss as a result of a crime. The scheme is designed to be one of last resort for victims who have no other way to access compensation.

You can find out more about the scheme and the time limits for applying in the criminal injuries compensation guide on gov.uk.

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