People you might see when you visit
Below is a list of all the people you may come across after contacting our service. Everyone on this list is specially trained to give their help, support and expertise to people under the age of 18 who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
Specially Trained Police Officer
If you or someone you know called either the police or our service to discuss your assault, and the incident occurred recently, you will soon meet a Specially Trained Police Officer. This officer is your main point of contact with the police. They are specially trained to get you to our centre safely and to get you home after you leave.
First, they will be the one who picks you up to bring you to our centre if your assault happened recently. We will arrange this for you if you contacted our service first. If you contact the police first, they will arrange for you to come to the centre and let us know you are coming. You can ask them any questions about how things work from the police side and they will be happy to answer. Once you arrive, they will make sure you get to where you need to go and leave you in the hands of a Crisis Worker. They will stay at the centre the entire time you are there, though the Crisis Support Worker will be your main support once you reach the centre.
When you are finished at our centre, the police officer will be responsible for returning you home, or for taking you somewhere you will be safe if we have concerns for your safety.
Crisis Support Worker
Your Crisis Support Worker is there to be your main point of support during your visit to one of our centres after a rape or sexual assault. They are here to listen to all your concerns, explain all the options that you have and guide you throughout your visit to our service.
They will meet you as soon as you arrive at our centre and get you to where you need to go. You can then sit down and talk to them about what has happened to you and together you can decide with them what services you will need at our centre. They will stay with you the whole time you are at the centre. If they decide with you that you should have a medical and forensic examination, they will be there to support you through the examination. They will also stay with you for any other tests or treatments that you have during this visit.
You can then discuss all of your follow-up care needs with your Crisis Support Worker. They can arrange for you to get therapeutic support or counselling so you can discuss what happened to you with a trained professional to help you to cope in the weeks and months ahead. They can also make arrangements for all your medical needs after you leave us. Normally, they will arrange follow up tests and treatments at a clinic that is close to where you live.
Sexual Offences Examiner – Specialist Clinician
If you have a medical and forensic examination during your visit to our centre, it will be carried out by a specially trained clinician. This may be carried out by a young person and children’s doctor, called a paediatrician, a forensic medical examiner, or by a combination of both. They will give you the medical treatment that you need for any injuries and give you advice on other treatments or tests that you may need. This can be advice on emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests and treatment. They will also advise you on when to come back for any follow-up medical care.
They are very experienced in performing these examinations on children and young people and they will make sure you are always comfortable. It can be difficult for some children or young people having this examination after a rape or sexual assault, but all our Sexual Offences Examiners are understanding and considerate of your situation. They will make sure everything goes at a pace you are comfortable with and will talk you through every step to let you know what they are doing and why.
If you visit our Nottingham centre, you will probably meet one or two nurses. They are there to support clinicians during a medical and forensic examination and also to give advice to people over the phone.
Young Person’s Advocate/ChISVA
Independent Advocates, who we often refer to as Young Person’s Advocates or ChISVAs (Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) can give you specialist help and support if you have been raped or sexually assaulted. Their main role is to guide young people, children and their family or carers through the whole legal process surrounding what happened to you. But they are independent of the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the courts.
We can arrange for a Young Person’s Advocate to keep in contact with you when you leave our centre. Their job is to help you through what can be hard to cope with alone for someone who has experienced sexual abuse. This ranges from keeping you informed about what is happening in the investigation into your sexual assault or rape to helping to prepare you for appearing in court. You can follow this link if you would like to know in more detail about the ChISVA support you will receive.
Therapeutic Support Worker
We will always offer you a course of therapeutic support after you come to our centre to help you cope with how you are feeling about what has happened to you. Often, people have difficulty coming to terms with what has happened to them and find it helpful to have a trained support worker to talk to about what they are thinking and how they are feeling. They can help you to cope and come to terms with the effect that the assault has had on your life. Some people may feel as though they are having no trouble coping at all, but even they usually find that talking things through with a trained professional is helpful. These Therapeutic Support Workers are there to find out the best way to support your recovery following a rape or sexual assault. As part of this service, you may be offered things like drama or art therapy. Everybody is different and your support workers will make sure you get the support that is right for you.
Any Therapeutic Support Worker that you see will be experienced in helping children and young people come to terms with things like a rape or sexual assault. You will be offered a session either during your first visit to one of our centres or some time shortly after you leave. We will arrange for this appointment to be somewhere close to where you live so you can get there easily. Normally, we will work out with you in this first session what sort of therapeutic support is right for you and your support worker will offer you up to 10 weekly sessions. If we decide with you after these sessions that you would benefit from more therapeutic support, this will be arranged. We will not stop supporting you if we agree that you still need it.
We may also decide with you in these sessions that you need certain specialist help that might be best given elsewhere. We will always discuss this with you and do what we agree is best for helping you to feel better. You may be experiencing stress symptoms after what happened to you. You may need help coping with things like nightmares, sleep problems, anger, anxiety, self-harm, depression or suicidal thoughts. All of these reactions are completely normal, and we are here to get you the support you need to feel better. If you need any extra support beyond what can be provided by the Therapeutic Support Worker, we can arrange for you to see a specialist at your nearest CAMH service.