The role of the Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA)

Sets out the expectations of the role of an ISVA.


Essential elements of the ISVA role

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


The guidance sets out core principles of an ISVA, which are to:

  • tailor support to the individual needs of the victim or survivor
  • provide accurate and impartial information to victims and survivors of sexual violence
  • provide emotional and practical support to meet the needs of the victim or survivor
  • provide support before, during and after court
  • act as a single point of contact
  • ensure the safety of victims and survivors and their dependants
  • provide a professional service

Importantly, this guidance is in no way intended to stifle innovation or development of the ISVA role. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the ways in which an ISVA may be involved in supporting a victim or survivor. Neither is the guidance intended as a training guide; all ISVAs must receive independent training which is made available by a small number of providers.

Read Violence against women and girls: national statement of expectations.

Read Violence against women and girls service transformation fund: successful bids 2017 to 2020.

Published 28 September 2017