Campaign to fund independent advocates for rape survivors

6 Sep 2013

Rape Crisis South London and Reveal magazine today (Friday 6th September 2013) launched a campaign to call on the Government to provide more funding for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs).  Through our 40 years’ experience of providing specialist services to women and girls affected by sexual violence of any kind, we within the Rape Crisis movement know how vital the independent advocacy and practical support offered by ISVAs can be for survivors who choose to report to the police.  Yet not all of our 49 member Rape Crisis Centres across England and Wales are able to provide or sustain ISVA services due to limited resources.

Today’s campaign included a survey of 1,000 London women.  This research has reinforced our long-standing knowledge that as few as 15% of those who are raped or seriously sexually assaulted choose to pursue criminal justice.  Reasons women give us for their reluctance to come forward include a fear of not being believed, shame and self-blame, and a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system.  We know that where women want to report to the police, the specialist support and information provided by an ISVA can address these concerns and prove life-changing.

Rape Crisis supports all women and girls whose lives have been affected by sexual violence, regardless of whether or not they choose to report to the police.  Our services are confidential, independent and non-judgemental, and any woman or girl who comes to us is supported to make her own informed decisions about her future and what’s best for her.  We encourage any woman or girl who's experienced sexual violence, no matter how long ago, to contact her nearest Rape Crisis Centre.