Young Person’s Advocate/ChISVA Support
Our ChISVAs (Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) are usually referred to as Young Person’s Advocates. We will usually be able to organise access to a Young Person’s Advocate following a rape or sexual assault. They are specially trained individuals who are there to assist you in the weeks and months after you are raped or sexually assaulted. These Advocates will give you support throughout the legal process that will follow an assault, helping you through the criminal justice system from start to finish. Simply, this means that they will let you know everything that is happening with the criminal investigation into your assault and the court case dealing with the person who assaulted you.
Normally, you will be in contact with a single Young Person’s Advocate and they will be your constant point of contact during this process. They will get to know you and your case in detail so they can give you the best help and advice possible. Because they help people under 18, they work with both the survivor of the sexual abuse and their family or care network.
Below, we have listed some of the ways your Young Person’s Advocate will help you:
- They provide impartial information you (the survivor or rape or sexual assault) and their family/care network about all the options available
- They will make sure that you are no longer at risk of abuse and take action if they think you may still be at risk
- They will get you and your family/care network the emotional support and guidance you may need
- They will draw up what they call a “support plan,” which is a detailed plan of how to best support you in the weeks and months after an assault
- They will help you and your family/care network make informed decisions about your next steps
- They will be understanding of the effects that your assault will have had on you and will know how to support you sensitively
- They will help you to make reports to the police
- They will prepare you for police interviews and attend them with you for support if you would like
- They will organise a range of support services, like safe housing, medical care or counselling if you need them
- They will help you prepare for any appearance you may have to make in court or if you have to speak to a court via a video link
- They will prepare you for giving evidence
- They will accompany you to any court dates or any time you have to give evidence as part of the investigation into your assault
- They will keep you, your legal team, the police and the court all informed of any developments in your case
- They will help you to understand that what happened to you was not your fault and only the person who assaulted you is to blame
- They will provide information about claiming compensation for the trauma you have suffered
- They will support you during all aspects of a court trial
Most importantly, they will constantly be looking after your wellbeing and those who care for you. Your Young Person’s Advocate will be there for you with regular telephone and face to face contact as well. They are there to keep supporting you for as long as you need it and will make sure they take the best actions based on your individual situation.
For more information about the services that are offered after a visit to one of our centres, you can click the box below.