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At Safeline we understand that reaching out for support can take a huge amount of courage, so we want to make access to our services as easy, welcoming, and empowering as possible. Here’s what to expect when you first come to use our Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) or Children’s ISVA (ChISVA) service.

The process is the same for both children and adults. However, if the referral is for a child, it is most likely that we will make initial contact with a parent or guardian, unless it’s appropriate and possible to contact the child directly usually if they are 14 years or older.

For Children and Families, they will have access to our ChISVA service. ChISVA’s are specialised ISVA’s who work only with children, young people and families or carers.


Once we receive a referral, we will aim to contact you within 24 to 48 business hours.

First Call Assessment

Your first contact will be with one of the ISVA team. During this call we’ll establish a few things:

  • Are we the right service for you?
  • Are there any immediate risks or concerns?
  • What support you need from us or other services both in Safeline or externally? We can direct you to the right place if needed.

We don’t want you to feel you’re being pushed from pillar to post so we want to get you the right support from the start.

Next, we’ll schedule an assessment. To do this we’ll need to know:

  • Suitable date and times – Within our office hours, Monday to Friday, 9AM-5PM.
  • Location preferences– Ideally, we complete our assessments at our office in Warwick, but we are aware this isn’t always accessible to all, so, when necessary, we can meet at other agreed external venues or complete the assessment online or by phone.
  • Your preference of male or female ISVA – We have both male and female ISVAs available and will do our best to accommodate your choice of preference.

Welcome pack.

Once your assessment is scheduled you will receive a welcome pack via email or post. This will include your appointment confirmation, our privacy notice, the ISVA agreement and Safeline leaflets 

Assessment/ First appointment

During the assessment, we’ll go through our confidentiality agreement and the assessment form which is all about your health, well being, and safety. It’s important to note that we must remain independent from details of the incident(s). Therefore, we will not be asking lots of questions about it.

The rest of the assessment will be tailored to your needs: you may need support with housing, benefits, health, education, or work for example.

If the police are involved, we will ask for details of the officer in charge and the crime reference number. We can liaise with the police to gather any further information we might need and make sure you have all the information you need at this stage of your process.  We can provide an overview of what to expect of the criminal justice process.

We want you to be as informed as possible so you can move through the process making informed decisions, and please be assured we are independent so we will support whatever decision you make. It’s not our place to make any decisions for you or make you do anything you aren’t ready for or comfortable with.

Ongoing support plan

After the assessment or during the first few interactions with your ISVA we will establish a support plan, we are very much led by you and your needs. It can be as structured or as flexible as you need it to be. It’s not like counselling where you have an appointment once a week at the same time but, can be tailored around your life.

Whether you prefer regular texts, phone calls, or the occasional check-in when there are updates or milestones. A child and their parent or guardian may have separate support plans.

Remember, you are never a burden to us – offering emotional and practical support is our job, and if something isn’t working for you, we can amend the support plan to your needs.


It’s best to know from the start that the remit of our support is not endless. There will come a time when we need to arrange a closure meeting. We want this to be an agreed end when you’ve had an outcome and have all the support in place that you need and can move forward with your life autonomously.

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Featured image courtesy of Photo by Ben White on Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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