ISVA Lunchtime Briefings – March 2023


The National ISVA Co-ordinator Service has been working with professionals at HM Prison and Probation Service, the Ministry of Defence, academics, ISVA services and charities to better understand the unique barriers facing victims/survivors of sexual violence in prisons, and victims/survivors serving in the Armed Forces, in accessing support from an ISVA.



LimeCulture is hosting two briefings in March to share the findings and learnings from these consultations to support ISVAs in their practice:

ISVAs supporting victims/survivors in Prison, Thursday 2 March at 12 noon

ISVA services working in prisons will talk about overcoming various access and engagement challenges to ensure the critical support of ISVAs is accessible to victims/survivors who are in Prison.

ISVAs supporting victims/survivors in the Armed Forces, Thursday 30 March at 12 noon

ISVAs will hear from the Ministry of Defence RASSO lead to enhance their understanding of the Court Martial and Service Justice System, and ISVA services that have built strong relationships with the Forces and developed specialist ISVA roles to meet the unique needs of serving personnel.

To register for either or both of the lunchtime briefings please use our online booking form – click here  A calendar invite and Zoom meeting link will follow.

If you have any questions please e-mail

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

“It is clear that pathways of support for victims and survivors of sexual violence who are in Prison or serving in the Armed Forces are infrequently accessed.

For victims and survivors in prison, this is often due to a lack of awareness of ISVA support, or an assumption ISVA services will not work with victims/survivors in prison. Moreover, the ability of ISVAs to access a prison and meet with victims/survivors varies from estate to estate and maintaining engagement with clients can be challenged by confidentiality, security and/or privacy concerns.

In relation to the Armed Forces, we have been informed that many victims/survivors feel they have to make a choice between reporting the abuse they have experienced and their careers. Furthermore, the option of accessing support external to the Armed Forces, such as from a local ISVA service is often unknown or felt to be unsuitable for them. We’ve also heard from many ISVAs who report feeling inexperienced in supporting victims/survivors through the Service Justice System and unfamiliar with internal Force procedures which makes advocating for their clients’ needs exceptionally challenging.

We hope both of these Lunchtime Briefings will offer the opportunity for ISVAs to hear from other ISVAs about how they have overcome barriers and challenges to successfully support victims/survivors within these institutions that are so often felt to be impossible to access or navigate. The Lunchtime Briefings will also help ISVAs to consider how they can strengthen partnerships between local prison estates and military bases”.

About the National ISVA Co-ordinator (NISVAC) Service

The NISVAC Service pilot was commissioned by the NPCC Programme Hydrant in 2020 to support victims/survivors of sexual abuse from identified 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 contactable at

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