Sexual assault and abuse
Information on what to do if you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault or abuse.
Sexual abuse is unacceptable and can affect anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, race, or disability. It can be defined as any behaviour perceived to be of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding. Some types of sexual abuse include:
- rape / attempted rape
- assault by penetration
- child sexual abuse
- sexual touching
- sexual harassment
- indecent exposure
It is not uncommon for a victim of sexual abuse to have no physical injuries or signs of an assault.
The Police and Crime Commissioner funds organisations that provide support services for victims and witnesses in Derbyshire. These are free of charge and are available to anyone who lives in Derbyshire. For sexual abuse, these support services are provided by SV2.
Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence (SV2)
SV2 provide specialist counselling and advocacy support to anyone affected by sexual abuse in Derbyshire and Derby City.
- ISVA/ChISVA service (practical & emotional support / information on the Criminal Justice System)
- Therapy / counselling
- Holistic therapies
- Face-to-face or remote support
- Training and awareness sessions
- Support for anyone affected by sexual abuse (they do not have to be a direct victim)
You can either make a self-referral or a professional referral
Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA)
ISVAs are specially trained to work with victims and survivors of recent and non-recent crimes of sexual abuse, assault, or rape. If you are 17 and under, you will have a specialist young person's ISVA (ChISVA). You do not have to report to the police to receive support.
There is a vast range of support that an ISVA/CHISVA can offer, but their main role is to provide emotional and practical support for anyone who has experienced current or historic rape, sexual abuse or assault.
An ISVA can help in lots of different ways:
- if you're thinking of reporting to the police, but are unsure what that involves, they can talk you through the process
- if you do decide to report to the police, they can support you throughout the investigation and if your case goes to court
- they can advise you about your health, wellbeing and rights
- they can help you access other support services
Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
Sexual assault referral centres are independent medical centres not linked to police. They offer a private, safe, discrete and caring environment designed for all survivors of sexual assault, including men, women, LGBT+, and children. These centres offer medical, practical and emotional support to anyone who has been sexually assaulted, abused or raped. They have specially trained doctors or nurses to care for you and make onward referrals for therapy, counselling and other support services.
They are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. For those not wanting to report to the police, self referrals are accepted.
In order to preserve any evidence that may be present it is vital that help from the SARC is accessed as immediately as possible after an assault. In addition, the SARC can advise on and assist with other medical needs.
In Derbyshire, the SARC provider for adults is Millfield House – SARC. For those under 18, the provider is East Midlands Children and Young People's Sexual Assault Service.