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Amethyst Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) North Wales - How the service works

Support from our Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and Children and Young People Sexual Violence Advisers (CYPSVAs)

Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and Children and Young People Sexual Violence Advisers (CYPSVAs) can provide support and information to adults, children and young people who have been raped or sexually assaulted in North Wales, either recently or non-recently. You do not have to be in the criminal justice process to receive this support.

Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) are specially trained to support adults who have experienced sexual assault.

Children and Young People Sexual Violence Advisers (CYPSVAs) are specially trained ISVAs that support children and young people who have experienced sexual assault. 

ISVAs and CYPSVAs are independent from the police and criminal justice services. They provide impartial advice and up-to-date information to help you consider your options so you can make decisions that are right for you. 

ISVAs and CYPSVAs can to talk to you about your emotional wellbeing, provide you with positive coping strategies and allow you a safe and confidential space where you can talk about how you are feeling. Support is provided either face to face or by telephone and it will be at a level and frequency that is appropriate for your needs.

ISVAs and CYPSVAs are not counsellors however they are highly competent and skilled support workers. All of our ISVAs and CYPSVAs complete specialist training and ongoing professional development.

If it is counselling that you would like, ISVAs and CYPSVAs can make referrals on your behalf, including pre-trial counselling with either the Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (North Wales) or Stepping Stones

Our trained Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and Children and Young People Sexual Violence Advisers (CYPSVAs) can also help with:

  • Health
  • Housing
  • Work
  • Education
  • Benefits
  • Criminal Justice matters

Evidence of ISVA qualifications is available to view at the SARC office. Copies of all of our ISVA policies and procedures are available in our SARC office. If you would like to see them please speak to your ISVA/CYPSVA or email us on BCU.Amethyst@wales.nhs.uk

Referrals to the Amethyst Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

Please contact our Amethyst Sexual Assault Referral Centre to make a referral to our ISVA or CYPSVA service. 

We aim to process and make contact with all new referrals in 5 working days.

If you are not ready to make a complaint to the police, we can still help you to access confidential medical, forensic and sexual health screening. 

Going through the Criminal Justice system 

If you have made a formal complaint to the police, our Independent Sexual Violence Advisers and Children and Young Peoples Sexual Violence Advisers can help you understand different aspects of the criminal justice system.

If your case goes to court a Independent Sexual Violence Adviser and Children and Young People Sexual Violence Adviser can help:

  • Liaise with Criminal Justice agencies on your behalf, including the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Guide you throughout the Criminal Justice process to help keep you informed
  • Make sure you have the right support if you need to attend court
  • Assist with injury claims to the Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority 
  • Help ensure that your rights are met

Forensic medical examinations

The forensic medical examination is important as we want to look after your medical welfare as well as collecting forensic evidence. Any samples taken are carefully collected, labelled and stored and can be used in court as evidence if you decide to proceed with a criminal investigation. 

A qualified forensic doctor/nurse will carry out the examination ensuring you are comfortable and informed of what is happening. A crisis worker will also be present to help support you. You can bring a person of support with you and can stop at any time

The forensic medical examination will:

  • Ask about your past medical history
  • Check you for injuries
  • Discuss emergency contraception
  • Decide with you if any treatment is needed to help reduce the chances of you developing HIV or Hepatitis B infection from this assault.
  • Decide with you what forensic samples should be taken

Our main concern will be you and we will make sure you are treated with dignity and respect at all times.

The Doctor/Nurse will not be able to identify whether or not you have been sexually assaulted. If you decide to report, the forensic samples will be given to police as part of the criminal investigation and the police will store the samples until necessary. 

Sexual health forensic examination and information

A sexual health check-up cannot be done at the same time as the forensic medical examination. You will need to wait two weeks after the incident as it takes time to establish and detect infection.

Amethyst SARC offers an appointment only Sexual Health clinic on a Monday afternoon for those who have been victims of sexual violence. You can arrange an appointment at one of the sexual health clinics below:

Alternatively, you can order a sexual health postal test kit through the Frisky Wales website.