Sexual violence can happen to anyone, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.
Many LGBTQ+ people have experienced sexual assault, rape or sexual abuse. 1 in 10 have experienced sexual violence as part of a hate crime, (Galop 2016), 47% have experience sexual violence as part of domestic abuse (Roch 2010), and 18% of young people have experienced sexual violence. 79% of those affected have not received any help or support, (Youth Chances 2015) and the Women and Equalities Committee 2016 parliamentary report into Transgender Equality stated that “Trans people have long endured high levels of prejudice (referred to as transphobia) and misunderstanding. This is manifested in numerous forms including discrimination in a wide range of settings (including public services), hostile portrayal in the media, abuse and violence (including in some cases, sexual assault and murder). This can undermine Trans people’s career opportunities, incomes, living standards, access to social capital, quality of life and physical and mental health.
ISVAs are trained professionals who can offer you support with recovering from what happened to you. An ISVA will support you to find the way to move forward with better emotional health and well-being, advocate on your behalf and help you to take control back of your own life.
As part of your work with the ISVA, you will work together to create a support plan that has your views, voice and needs running throughout. You will be asked which pronoun or name you prefer and be treated with respect at every appointment.
Many LGBTQ+ people we work with have told us that they have felt unable to come forward to speak about what happened to them; they have fears of being “outed” or struggle with “ticking boxes” that don’t work for them. They are sometimes concerned that they will be met with homophobic or judgmental attitudes or that their information will be shared.
IDAS ISVAs have been trained to work with LGBTQ+ people and we work with other agencies who can support you. We will provide independent support to help you to make an informed decision about reporting to the police or making a report anonymously.
If you have, or if you decide to, report to the police we will help you throughout the process. We can advocate on your behalf if you wish and we can help with other practical things, like housing, medical appointments or acting as an advocate with you.
If you are going through the Criminal Justice System, we will support you throughout the process. We will liaise with the Police and CPS on your behalf for updates and help you to understand the process.
We will support you through the trial, including arranging a visit to the court before the trial so you have a clearer idea of what will happen on the day. We will make sure you are aware of your options when giving your evidence; for example, having a TV link or screen so you do not have to see the person who assaulted you. We liaise closely with the Witness Services, who will also support you at court to ensure they are aware of your needs. Following the trial, regardless of the outcome, you will be able to continue to access our services
If you are not currently going through the criminal justice system, we have a 6- session support plan that we work through. We can either meet with you in one of our offices, talk on the phone or by video call. We look at, amongst other things, self-care, such as mindfulness, journaling, impact of trauma, fear responses, family dynamics, support networks and the impact the assault can have on all of these.
- tailor support to your individual needs
- provide accurate and impartial information to anyone who has experienced sexual violence
- provide emotional and practical support to meet your needs
- provide support before, during and after court
- act as a single point of contact
- work with you to ensure your safety and that of your dependents
- provide a professional service.