A Nottinghamshire-based support service helping victims to recover from their experiences of sexual violence has scooped a national award.
Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services’ (NSVSS) ISVA team, which provides a range of practical and emotional support services including advocacy to victims of crime who have been raped or sexually assaulted, was presented with the Exceptional ISVA Team award by LimeCulture, the UK’s leading sexual violence training and development organisation.
The ISVA service was commissioned by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping with joint funding from Nottinghamshire County Council and includes the Survivor Support Service, which is also joint-funded by the City, County and PCC.
The Survivor Support Service delivers specialist emotional and practical help and advocacy for victims harmed by child sexual abuse which took place in an institutional setting or those who reported child sexual abuse to a person in authority and was ignored or disbelieved.
The awards were presented during a special ceremony at the fourth National Conference for ISVAs in Birmingham on Wednesday (17 Oct).
They were introduced to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals ISVAs, ISVA teams and ISVA managers who have demonstrated excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual violence.
In addition to the team award, NSVSS’ ISVA Manager Gemma Malfesi was shortlisted from many nominations for the Inspirational ISVA Manager award.
Commenting on the success, Mr Tipping said: “I’m very proud of the achievements of the NSVSS team in Nottinghamshire and all of the volunteers, advocacy workers and staff who have played a part in the service’s success.
“This national award is proof that victims of sexual violence in Nottinghamshire receive some of the best services in the country to help them recover and cope with their experiences and rebuild their lives with confidence and ongoing support.
“I would like to offer my full congratulations to the team and also thank them for their compassion, commitment and dedication to helping vulnerable people to move on from the devastation of crime.”
Novlet Holness, NSVSS’ Chief Executive Officer said: “We are really proud and happy with the award as it acknowledges our hard work and commitment to survivors.”
Cllr David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re pleased that the Survivor Support Service has been given national recognition and praise for the important work that it’s doing so well in Nottingham. Survivors of childhood abuse often may not have come to terms with what happened to them, or spoken to anyone about it, even many years later. Survivors we’ve engaged with told us a support service like this was needed and so we were pleased that, with support from the Police and Crime Commissioner and the County Council, we were able to provide this service and that it’s been so well received by survivors.”
A spokesperson for LimeCulture said: “All the teams nominated for this award demonstrate an exceptional level of support to their clients and fellow team members. In recognition of this and the outstanding support offered by this team to those in prison and those who have been involved in institutional abuse cases, the award goes to Notts SVS Services’ ISVA team.”
ISVAs are trained to deliver emotional and practical support to survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault. They remain independent of the criminal justice system and provide help in a non-judgemental way on issues such as court proceedings, health services, emotional support and personal safety. They also explain the importance and process of forensic DNA retrieval and can be approached regardless of whether a crime has been reported to the police or not.
The ISVA Service is part of a larger team of Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services, providing wraparound services such as counselling and helpline to support survivors.
Picture shows (L-R): Sir Keir Starmer MP QC – Chair of LimeCulture Independent Advisory Board; Gemma Malfesi, ISVA Manager, NSVSS; Luisa Marshall, ISVA, NSVSS; Deb Hooton, Contracts Lead, NSVSS; Liz Steward, Senior ISVA, NSVSS
Posted on Tuesday 23rd October 2018