Knowledge and Network: An Event for ISVAs April 2013

Knowledge and Network: An Event for Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)

Kings College London and LimeCulture are pleased to announce that they will be jointly hosting a national conference for ISVAs in April 2013. The Conference will take place at Kings’ Campus located on The Strand in central London.

This major event will bring together professionals to share knowledge and provide a unique opportunity to network with other members of the ISVA workforce.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • share expertise with like-minded delegates
  • learn about how other ISVAs services operate
  • discuss operational challenges faced by ISVAs
  • identify solutions to improve responses and raise standards
  • contribute to creating a strong, professional and recognised ISVA workforce

This event is suitable for:

  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisers
  • Advocates
  • Service Managers
  • Commissioners
  • Other professionals working in partnership with ISVAs (such as Police, CPS, health professionals etc)

If you would like to express an interest in attending this event, please contact

Alternatively, keep your eyes peeled for further information and details of how to book your place at this event. Booking information will be posted on this site and the LimeCulture website ( as soon as this event is open for bookings.

You can also subscribe to the LimeCulture E-News Letter to keep updated on our latest news and information.

ISVA Focus Groups

LimeCulture was asked to facilitate two ISVA Focus Groups run by the Home Office on 19 and 26 October. The purpose of the focus groups was two-fold:

  • Firstly, to give ISVAs the opportunity to share their experiences, suggestions and ideas and
  • Secondly, to give the Home Office the opportunity to hear how the role of  the ISVA is developing and to hear the challenges and successes faced by the ISVAs themselves.

The Home Office ran 2 focus groups, one held in Manchester and one held in London. Both were excellent, with interesting discussions and ideas being shared by the people who do this important role. Although ISVAs often operate in difficult and challenges situations – providing support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society- the passion and committment to their clients was clear. All want to do the best they can for their clients and provide the support that is needed.

The discussion themes were targeted and the focus was on 4 main areas:

  • ISVA service provision: is it consistent across the country?
  • How can ISVAs be supported to carry out their roles effectively?
  • How can we ensure ISVA services are managed and monitored effectively?
  • How can we ensure that the training and development needs of ISVAs are met?

There were lively discussions from ISVAs at both focus groups, with lots of suggestions and ideas being put forward on how to professionalise the role and improve and increase the standards of service provision for children and adults. It was great to hear the views of these frontline professionals who are working so hard to improve the response to sexual violence up and down the country.

LimeCulture was thrilled to be part of the focus groups and it was a privilege to meet such inspirational people, doing such inspirational roles. The role of the ISVA should not be underestimated or undervalued. These professionals have a critical role in improving the response to sexual violence.

LimeCulture would like every victim of rape or sexual assault to have access to ISVA support if they want it or need it…..if only there were more ISVAs!

Kings College London and LimeCulture will be hosting a national conference for ISVAs on Thursday 25 April 2013. Further information about “Knowledge and Network: An Event for ISVAs’ will be available soon. 

New Training Dates for 2013

LimeCulture is pleased to announce new training dates for 2013

LimeCulture courses and workshops are designed to support professionals working with victims of sexual violence. All of our courses are intended to be practical in focus and aimed at improving the confidence and confidence of frontline staff.

The following courses will be running during 2013:

Workshop for ISVA Managers – Thursday 31 January 2013 (Manchester) 

Giving Evidence in Court Proceedings – Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 February 2013 (Manchester)

Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Development Programme – Throughout June- December 2013

  • Module 1 : Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of an ISVA (11 & 12 June 2013)
  • Module 2: Best practice ISVA responses to police and non-police referrals (9 & 10 July 2013)
  • Module 3: Unit a)Working in Partenrship with Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) (17 September 2013). Unit b)  Risk Identification, Assessment and Management (18 September 2013)
  • Module 4: Unit a) Understanding Sexual Trauma (15 October 2013). Unit b) Forensic Awareness and Interpretation (16 October 2013)
  • Module 5: Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults (14 & 15 November 2013)
  • Module 6: Understanding the ISVA and Victim role in relation to the Criminal and Civil Justice Process (13 & 13 December 2013)

For more information about our 2013 training courses please email

Home Office release details for ISVA focus groups

The Home Office are holding two focus groups for ISVAs. Details of the venues and timings are below.

MANCHESTER – Mercure Hotel on 19th October 2012 between  13:30 – 17:00

LONDON, Home Office HQ, 2 Marsham Street on 26th October 2012 between 13:30 – 17:00


LimeCulture understands that places are limited so ISVAs wishing to attend will need to act quickly.

Further information can be obtained from

Sean McGarry 
Interpersonal Violence: Policy and Delivery Team at the Home Office

Telephone No:  020 7035 3724      

New dates for Court Skills Training

Due to popular demand LimeCulture are delighted to announce further dates for Court Skills Training. This course is ideal for all front line professionals who might find themselves having to give evidence in criminal or civil proceedings.

About the training

More and more frequently ISVAs, Social Workers and other front line professionals are finding themselves in the court room giving evidence.

This dynamic and intensive 2-day training course will look at both criminal and civil proceedings, equipping delegates with the practical skills required to give evidence in court, including how to prepare for the evidence giving process, the criminal/civil process and completion of statements/reports for proceedings.

New Dates for 2013

26th/27th February 2013

Testimonial from our 2012 courses

‘I was recently called to give evidence at short notice and had no idea of what was expected of me. I wish I had done this course first. I feel so much more prepared now and whilst I know I will still be nervous I am sure I will be more confident than the last time’ – Crisis Worker

This training has given me so much confidence. I now feel well equipped and armed with the tools should I be needed for court in the future. Thank you LimeCulture for a really great 2 days’ –  ISVA

For further information or to book your place on this training course please contact

3rd Annual Conference of the United Kingdom Association of Forensic Nurses

On Saturday 8th September 2012 Kim LimeCulture’s Director of Training and Development was invited to chair the 3rd Annual Conference of the United Kingdom Association of Forensic Nurses at Staffordshire University. The conference entitled ‘Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll’ was attended by forensic nurses working with victims of sexual/domestic violence and within custody settings. The conference focused on substance misuse and insightful talks were given by Zoe Lodrick one of our LimeCulture trainers,Shannon Harvey from AVA and a range of other experts in the field. It was a brilliant event which was well received by all delegates.

In the last  three years this body of professionals has gone from strength to strength and we would encourage all forensic nurses working in this field to consider joining the association. They provide excellent networking opportunities, professional support and development.

Further information about UKAFN can be found at

Good news for ISVAs

Good News for ISVAs who want to support their clients at court

A judicial check list giving guidance to Judges about how best to deal with children and young people who are appearing in court proceedings has recently been published

The check list asks the Judge to consider who should support the child in the live TV link room as below

‘Specify person independent, (with whom child has relationship of trust) to provide emotional support in live link room: child’s wishes must be taken into account’

 In the past, this role has been undertaken in some courts by members of the witness service and in others by ushers from the court. However a recent practice direction has specified that the witness supporter need not be an usher or court official.

Limeculture has been made aware of a number applications made by ISVAs to undertake this role. Although there has been some challenge from the judiciary and members of the Bar, a number of successful applications have been made.

In one case in Manchester, a child advocate was granted permission by the court to support her client, a 9 year old child. Likewise in the North East, in spite of the prosecuting barrister initially refusing to make an application for the ISVA to support her 12 year old client who had been sexually exploited, he changed his mind having researched the matter further and an application was made to the court. Although the judge had initially been reluctant to grant the application, he then approved it. The case will be heard in the next few weeks.

It should be noted that

  • There are National Standards relating to witness supporters. The ISVA will have to satisfy the court that they are independent and not aware of the specific detail of the case.
  • Details of request for the ISVA to support the witness should be made as part of the special measures application
  •  It is worth noting that the court are likely insist on the usher remaining in the live TV link room. This is to ensure the integrity of the process and to help with the Judges directions from the court room.

So far we have not been informed of any successful applications for ISVAs to support adults in the live link room. However the principles are the same.

Limeculture has raised the potential for the IVSAs to carry out this role with the Home Office. By working with the Ministry of Justice, it may be that they can help to ensure some consistency in how the courts approach these applications.

If you would like further information about this, please contact

LimeCulture has its 1st birthday!

LimeCulture is 1 year old! What a fantastic year it has been for us!

For those of you that don’t know anything about LimeCulture, we are a specialist sexual violence organisation that was established in July 2011. Our ultimate aim is to improve the competence and confidence of frontline professionals responding to victims of sexual violence.

We decided to set up LimeCulture after completing a 2 year programme of work for the Department of Health and Home Office supporting local partnerships across England to improve their response to sexual violence. During 2009-2011, we supported 39 police force areas and their key partners (Health, Local Authority, third sector etc). Throughout that period of work, we recognised the overwhelming need to support frontline professionals. These professionals are key in helping and supporting the people who are often the most vulnerable in our society. Many of these professionals told us that they often work in isolation and have training and support needs themselves.

So in July 2011, LimeCulture was born. We brought together a range of national experts (from forensic scientists to SARC managers, police officers to psychologists!) and asked them to be part of LimeCulture. Luckily, they all set yes and set about developing training courses and workshops that would support the frontline professionals that we are aiming to support!

A year on and we have successfully run a number of training courses. We are now 2 modules into our 3rd Independence Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Development Programme. Initially, we only intended to run it once and the demand has been so great that we have now run it 3 times since September!

Our Crisis Worker Development Programme has been run twice and we have now provided bespoke training to a number of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) across the country. Plus we have run a range of other workshops and masterclasses for professionals.

We are in the process of developing our training programme for the next 12 months, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, we would love to hear from you. We are really keen to make sure that all our training is developed by professionals FOR professionals….so keep us posted about what you need or want!

Thanks for your support!