Our specialist advocacy service provides support to women who are considering reporting to the police or are already in the criminal justice system with a trained and experienced ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advocate) to provide practical and emotional support throughout the process.

There have been 187  reported cases of rape of women aged 16-17 in Leeds between October 2015 and September 2018. That’s a 47% increase between 2015-2018. In addition, there have been 189 reported cases of serious sexual offences against women aged 16-17 in Leeds within the same timeframe. That’s a 29% increase between 2015-2018. This does not take into account the estimated 85% of sexual violence survivors who do not report to the police. SARSVL is pleased that we are now in a position to provide this much needed service to women in the 16-17 age bracket.

A SARSVL service user said: “Before I came to SARSVL I was so traumatised and felt so sad and upset all the time, about what happened to me. When I started seeing the ISVA I started to feel more confident and got so much support from her. I would like to thank you for all the support that has helped me get through this. Thank you very much.”

The extension of this service has been made possible by a grant from Tampon Tax Community Fund administered by the Two Ridings Community Foundation. Members of the public can also support us to provide this service by donating to SARSVL’s Winter Giving campaign here.

The launch date has been chosen to coincide with the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. The week aims to generate discussion among the general public, statutory bodies and third sector organisations about how sexual abuse and sexual violence is not ok, it aims to empower survivors and send out a clear message that the UK collectively will be saying ‘It’s Not Ok’. To support the event Leeds Civic and Town Halls will be lit up from 5.30pm on Saturday 9th February and members of the public are encouraged to attend, bringing glow sticks, torches or neon to light up the night in support of sexual violence survivors.

For more information on SARSVL and our services please visit our website.