For a child or young person trying to understand the Police investigation and Crown Prosecution service decisions can be very confusing and distressing.
Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs) aim to provide child-focused support. It prepares and guides children, young people and their loved ones through the criminal justice system, court process, witness testimony and on to appropriate healing.
Current therapeutic provision for children is focused on children, who have experienced intra-familial sexual abuse.
There is a gap in terms of all children, who fall outside this category – particularly where there is no social services or mental health input.
The vision is that with financial support from the PCC, services can be put in place to provide a holistic approach to child services from early intervention following disclosure/report, to closure work following court case or decision to discontinue.
The overall aim is to reduce the distress experienced by young witnesses and help them to kead a happy and healthy life long after the court case.