Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

A service helping victims of rape and sexual assault is in line to get £10,000 from Portsmouth City Council, to help it continue.

The independent sexual violence advisor (ISVA) service offers practical and emotional support to survivors and helps them with everyday issues. This can involve keeping them informed of police investigations, helping them produce a victim statement or providing assistance to improve their safety.

Prosecutions involving sexual violence can fail to proceed if the victim decides they can't face the process of giving evidence and attending court, which can be traumatic. But the ISVA service offers support to survivors throughout the legal process, helping them to see it through.

The ISVA is jointly funded by Hampshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council.

At a meeting on 31 July, Cllr Lee Hunt, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, will consider a proposal to give £10,000 – another year's contribution – to the service. This would help extend its contract until March 2021.

Plans for continuing support for the service past this date are being considered.

The service is provided by Aurora New Dawn in Portsmouth. It dealt with 170 referrals in the city in the 2017/18 financial year and 128 in 2018/19.

Cllr Hunt said: "This is a very important source of support, which helps victims of appalling crimes get their lives back together. It also supports them through the court process, which means cases are more likely to go ahead and justice can be done.

"The council is proud to be a supporter of such a worthwhile service."