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Independent support

The Elms SARC

In Cambridgeshire we have The Elms, which is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre and is based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon.  The Elms offers support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted - either recently or historically. 

You can contact The Elms Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) on 0800 193 5434.

They offer free support and practical help to anyone in Cambridgeshire who has ​experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse.

If the incident has just happened, you will be offered to attend The Elms based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon for an examination, interview and support. This is so that all evidential opportunities can be captured and medical needs assessed. More information on the process can be found here. If you choose to do this, a specially trained officer will look after you and support you through the process.

You do not have to report to the police to get support in The Elms, if you would like to self-refer and you decide to have forensic samples taken, these can be stored for up to 7 years should you wish to report to the police at a later date.

 

Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs)

You do not have to report to the police to get support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).

They can help with your emotional needs as well as help with safety planning. They can help you understand how the criminal justice process works, such as what will happen if you report to the police, what will happen if you report anonymously and the importance and process of forensic DNA retrieval.

An ISVA offers confidential advice and support to all genders who have been the victims of sexual violence. They will help you come to terms with what has happened and explain the options available to you. They can refer you to counselling, help to coordinate different agencies (such as sexual health, mental health, substance misuse and housing) and they will regularly liaise with the police for case updates (if you choose to report the sexual assault).

The ISVA will only provide the support that you choose and it is your choice whether or not you report a crime to the police.

The ISVA service covers Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. There is also a dedicated Young Person's ISVA that works with children aged 0-19 covering the whole county.

 

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