Advocacy Counselling Helpline


Our Advocacy service supports survivors (16+) to access information and services including supporting survivors through the criminal justice system.

“For all the problems I had and all the places I have been seen, here was the place where I was treated the best.  The level of support is excellent.  I have benefited enormously and I am still benefiting.”

SARSVL Advocacy Service User

This service is for women and girls aged 16+.

If you wish to consider reporting to the police, please see our guidance here.

You can download a pack about our Advocacy Service here (as a PDF) if it is safe for you do so, and to read at your own pace.  We understand that there is a lot of information to take in which is the purpose of this pack.

Our Advocacy Service accepts referrals from external agencies. If you are working with a woman who you feel would benefit from SARSVL’s Advocacy support please click here.

What is Advocacy?

“SARSVL have given the support I desperately needed throughout a difficult time.” SARSVL Advocacy Service User

Advocacy is about helping people to access information and services, to be involved in decisions about their lives, and to explore their views and wishes. It assists people in exploring choices and options, defending their rights and speaking out about issues that matter to them, to regain or maintain power and control over their own lives.

What is SARSVL’s Advocacy Service?

“This has made a huge impact, thank you, and it also brings a huge relief. I felt like I had some stand up for me like I felt deserved for a long time.”

We are an independent service working with women aged 16 and 0ver who have been affected by rape or sexual violence at any time in their lives. We help you to regain control of your life, make informed choices about issues affecting you, and access the support that you may need.

The service is free and confidential, and you do not need to have reported anything to the police* to access it.

We can help you to:

  • Be heard
  • Take back control
  • Know your rights
  • Understand the choices and decisions in your life

We will:

  • Put you first
  • Help you to be in control
  • Explain issues and how they may affect you
  • Assist you to work with other agencies
  • Support you at meetings

*Our ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advocate) can also offer specialist information and advocacy to women around reporting to the police and support throughout that process.

To make a self-referral please click here to complete our online referral form, or you can download our Self referral form and email it to advoacy@sarsvl.org.uk.

To make a referral on behalf of a woman you are working with, please click here to complete our online referral form, or you can download our External Referral Form and email the completed referral to advoacy@sarsvl.org.uk.

Contact us:

Telephone: 0113 200 2930
Email: advocacy@sarsvl.org.uk

More about the Advocacy Service…

SARSVL’s Advocacy Service works specifically with women affected by sexual violence, whenever in their lives it happened, working within a feminist analysis of violence and informed by a rights-based empowerment approach.

SARSVL’s Advocacy Service is a new and innovative service for Leeds. The project is constantly developing, led by what survivors tell us is helpful, and responsive to changing need.

We aim to offer advocacy support in a number of key areas, that our work with survivors tells us are often areas of need after an experience of sexual violence.  Advocacy is not limited to these areas,  and we will work with survivors to identify where and how advocacy could best support them.

Emotional – the advocacy service can offer some emotional support but is not a counselling service. However we can point service users towards counselling services in Leeds if they think that is what they need.

Legal – we can offer support by talking through reporting an incident of sexual violence and explaining what may happen and what to expect in the legal process, including accompanying a service user to court.

Health – we can, for example, help service users to make arrangements to go to a clinic or doctor.

Housing – we can talk through and help our service users to find out about their housing options.

Safety – we will work with service users to help them to assess if they are safe and support them to put relevant orders e.g. restraining orders, in place, if necessary.

Finances – if service users are struggling financially, we’ll inform them of where to seek the appropriate help from, e.g. attending the local CAB with them.

Support network – we’ll help service users to identify what support they already have in place and anything that their family and/or friends can do to help support them.

Children – if service users have any concerns about their children, we’ll offer help to explore these and discuss their options.

Call us free on
0808 802 3344

Your call should be answered immediately during our opening times, unless we’re on another call. If we’re closed or on another call you can leave us a message and we’ll call you back.