Police encourage victims of sexual violence to reach out for support

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Northumbria Police is raising awareness of a group of advisors to help reinforce its key message that ‘no-one should ever suffer in silence’.

Its dedicated Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) provide specialist tailored support to anybody who has been subjected to sexual violence.

Lynne Lucy, one of the force’s ISVAs, said: “A lot of people don’t know that ISVAs exist, let alone know what we do.

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“I do hope that knowing we’re here to offer an extra layer of emotional and practical support will encourage people to come forward and ask for help, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone.”

Lynne Lucy, one of the force’s ISVAs.Lynne Lucy, one of the force’s ISVAs.
Lynne Lucy, one of the force’s ISVAs.

It is her job to provide impartial information to victims and survivors about their options – such as making police reports and discussing referrals to specialist services, who can assist with pre-trial therapy and sexual violence counselling.

She added: “There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach and we very much tailor the support we offer to suit the needs of the person we’re helping.

“And really crucially, we’re about more than just supporting victims and survivors through court. People can work with us and receive our support without formally reporting an incident to police.

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“We will agree the frequency of contact to best suit your support needs – we really will tailor our support to suit you.

“Please, if you do need our support, consider reaching out. I know it can seem a terrifying prospect, but we will listen and we will support you.”

To find out more about your local ISVAs, go to https://nvws.northumbria.police.uk