LimeCulture Launches New Resource for ISVAs working with victims/survivors from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.


Today, LimeCulture is delighted to launch a second resource for Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) as part of the National ISVA Co-ordinator (NISVAC) Service pilot.

The NISVAC Service has been in working in partnership with people from Gypsy, Roma and Travelling communities, professionals working with these communities, academics and ISVA services to develop a new resource to support ISVAs to better understand the unique barriers Gypsy, Roma or Traveller people may face in engaging with support, and to consider how ISVA services can be adapted to support these clients.

This resource:

  • Provides a brief background of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities including issues such as discrimination, marginalisation, and hate.
  • Highlights specific barriers for people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in accessing ISVA support.
  • Equips ISVAs with accurate information to inform practice and provides practical suggestions to support ISVA services to become more accessible for people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Download the resource  Working with victims and survivors from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Holli Waterson, the National ISVA Co-ordinator, said:

“Engaging with sexual violence victims and survivors from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities can be particularly challenging due to a long history of genocide, discrimination and hate which has resulted in their exclusion from mainstream support services. Sadly, low rates of engagement with people from Travelling communities has become an unacceptable norm for many services. Given how critical specialist support is following sexual violence, access to an ISVA is vital to ensure the needs of sexual violence victims/survivors from these communities are met.

We had a fantastic response from Gypsy, Roma and Travelling communities, academics and professionals in the development of this resource, which is a testament to the shared commitment to improving support access and life outcomes for survivors of sexual violence. I would like to extend a very special thank you to all who engaged with us and shared their knowledge and experiences.

Being aware of the barriers these communities face and demonstrating sensitivity to their unique cultures and traditions is key to enabling victims/survivors of sexual violence from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities to engage with ISVA services. We hope this resource supports ISVA services to do just that.”

LimeCulture will be hosting a free lunchtime briefing on Tuesday 5th April 2022 at 12noon for ISVAs to discuss the resource, hear directly from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, academics, and professionals working with Travelling communities, and share ideas on how to make ISVA services more accessible to victims/survivors.

To access the lunchtime briefing, please email A calendar invite and zoom meeting link will follow.


The NISVAC Service pilot was commissioned by Operation Hydrant in 2020 to support victims/survivors of sexual abuse from identified hard-to-reach, or seldom heard, groups with a pathway into support from an ISVA service and/or access to the criminal justice system, in recognition of the additional barriers they face. 

The National ISVA Advice Line is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm – 0800 246 5260 or by email

Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services open for application!

We’re delighted to announce that applications are now open for ISVA service providers wishing to join LimeCulture’s Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services.

The application window closes on Wednesday 6 April 2022

Through seeking independent accreditation against the Quality Standards, ISVA services can give victims and survivors of sexual violence confidence in the quality of the ISVA service they are accessing; have confidence as a provider that they are delivering a safe, effective and equitable service; and demonstrate the quality of their service both to local partner agencies and to commissioners as measured against a set of common standards.

Since the Independent Accreditation Programme was established in 2018, it has been opened to six waves of ISVA services supporting adults and children and young people. 45 services have successfully achieved the Quality Mark to date, and 6 more services are currently working towards it.

Sam Whyte, Director of Consultancy and Accreditation at LimeCulture, said:  “LimeCulture has been privileged to see so many brilliant ISVA services move through the accreditation programme, and we’re consistently impressed by their resilience and creativity in meeting the needs of their clients in the face of considerable challenges. We’re excited to be opening the programme today to a whole new cohort of services, and look forward to working with them to continue driving high-quality ISVA support for victims/survivors.”

“The LimeCulture Quality Standards independent accreditation was a challenge that caused us at East Kent Rape Crisis to examine our current procedures. It gave us an excellent opportunity to check that everything was in place to provide the best possible service to clients whatever their age or sexual orientation. We’re confident that our processes provide a great service.” East Kent Rape Crisis Centre

To apply

To apply to join the Independent Accreditation Programme, or to request a bespoke quotation for your service/organisation, e-mail us at Places on the programme are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Services enrolling will need to be available for a virtual Accreditation Workshop on Thursday 21 April 2022.

You can find more information about the Accreditation programme, costs, and our Terms and Conditions here.

Enhanced Quality Standards for 2022

Alongside the new wave, LimeCulture is today publishing updated Implementation Guidance for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services.

This enhances the standards through highlighting specific considerations when delivering ISVA support to children and young people, reflecting the rapid evolution of practice over recent years. We are also introducing a new Quality Standard to ensure services sufficiently support clients with additional needs to fully access and engage with ISVA support, given how critical we know this can be to achieving positive outcomes for victims/survivors.

LimeCulture would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the ISVA service providers, commissioners and victims/survivors that have contributed to this work.

The updated Quality Standards Implementation Guidance can be found here.