Sexual violence advice and therapist service to launch across Kent in April

Tackling sexual crimes

A new service of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (CISVAs) and therapists will start operating across Kent and Medway in April via funding from Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott.

The news comes at the same time as Kent Police has announced the force is supporting a national week-long campaign to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence.

Between today (February 4) and Sunday, 10 February police and partner agencies will be promoting information on issues surrounding consent and the importance of reporting incidents. It is hoped that by raising awareness of the support on offer to victims, more people will come forward.

‘Trust in us’

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Mercer said: “We take all incidents reported to us seriously and ask that victims trust in us and come forward at the earliest opportunity.

“Simply put, no consent means no sex. If someone is unable to consent because they are intoxicated, then taking advantage of them is a serious sexual offence and one we will work with victims to investigate.

“There is so much support on offer for victims. We have specially trained officers who work closely with charities and partner agencies to help people who have suffered sexual abuse. We support them victims practically through a court process and our partners are there to help with mental wellbeing and getting their life back on track.

“Sexual assault and violence can ruin people’s lives, but we are here to help them pick up the pieces. Though we never underestimate the devastating impact this crime can have, we are here to offer help, support and ensure that a thorough investigation is completed.”

New service

Matthew Scott added: “Sexual crime is unacceptable in any form, leaving victims deeply affected and often isolated and alone. As part of my commitment to enhance services for victims of crime and abuse I’m commissioning a new service of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (CISVAs) and therapists to start operating in April.

“They will support victims right across all of Kent and Medway, even if they choose not to support a prosecution or after the police investigation ends.”

Throughout the week lookout for the Twitter campaign from @itsnotok2019 will be using the hashtag #itsnotok.

More information can be found at: https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/sexual-offences/

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