Support for children who have experienced sexual violence in Sussex
A leading charity supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Sussex has launched a new service for some of the county’s most vulnerable children and their families.
The Survivors’ Network Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (CISVA) offers information and support to children aged 13 and under who have experienced rape and sexual assault.
This support service was set up in 2017 following a grant from PCC Katy Bourne. It has now been awarded a further £69,000 from Mrs Bourne’s Safe Space Sussex Funding Network to expand and take referrals pan Sussex.
CISVAs will offer support whenever it is needed, which could be in the immediate aftermath of an assault or years after. This includes reporting to the police, access to counselling or support throughout the court process.
Jay Breslaw, Director of Survivors’ Network said:
“Where a child has experienced a sexual crime, the impact on the child and their family is significant, and Survivors' Network are delighted that our Children's Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (CISVA) support has been extended to children and families across the whole of Sussex.
“Sexual crimes can be devastating for a family, and having someone to provide support and advocacy, liaise with agencies and ensure that the voice of the child is amplified is so crucial and necessary.
“Our families tell us that the support they receive is invaluable and that they don't know how they'd have coped without it.”
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner said:
“No child should ever have to suffer any kind of abuse but unfortunately there are very young victims across our county who have been exploited or abused in this way and desperately need specialist support.
“That is why I am pleased to continue to support this worthwhile service and enable it to expand and accept referrals from across the whole county. I do not want to see any vulnerable young victims slipping through the protective net.”
For more information please contact the CISVA team on: 01273 203380 or complete the online referral form at https://survivorsnetwork.org.uk/get-help/isva-service/refer-a-child-to-the-isva-service/