Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service

Case Study

A woman in her 30s who had suffered sexual abuse for 17 years was referred to the ISVA in December 2008 by the police. The client had been subject to coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation as well as emotional, physical and sexual acts of violence that ensured the perpetrator's complete control over her. In just under 11 months, ISVA provided her with the practical and emotional support to see her abuser sentenced to 19 years imprisonment. Milestones that were achieved for both ISVA and the client are as follows:

  • December 2008: Client is referred to ISVA by the police and the abuser is arrested
  • April 2009: Defendant is charged with 17 counts
  • June 2009: Hearing at Southampton Crown Court and a trial date is set for August 2009
  • July 2009: Client is taken for a court visit by ISVA to help familiarise her with the layout of the court rooms, courtroom language & roles of key figures in the court
  • August 2009: ISVA is informed that the trial has been put back by a week. The trial is then held and ISVA accompanies client to court who gives evidence over 2 days. Four days later, the jury returns a majority verdict of guilty on 6 counts
  • September 2009: Defendant is sentenced to 19 years imprisonment
  • October 2009: ISVA applies for compensation on client's behalf


Southampton Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Counselling Service, Registered Charity Number: 1111753, Company Number: 5486084, Company Limited by Liabilities in England and Wales