CYP ISVA: Emilia’s story

Hampton Trust received a referral for a young women who had experienced sexual abuse from a family member. At the time of the referral, Emilia was extremely vulnerable, suffering with anxiety, and self-harming.

Emilia was initially unsure about the ISVA support as she had been let down by many people personally and professionally within her life. The ISVA took the time to talk through the support that she would receive and what it entailed. After some careful and sensitive conversations, Emilia agreed to give it a go.

The ISVA worked collaboratively with the police to obtain enough information to develop a package of support whilst avoiding re-traumatisation. The ISVA was able to explore feelings and coping methods with Emilia, including techniques around mindfulness, increasing physical exercise, managing panic attacks, anxiety, anger, and sleep issues. Because Emilia struggled with her mental health and showed suicidal ideation, without the support of the ISVA it would have been highly likely that Emilia would not have been able to attend court as a witness.

The ISVA support was also extended to the family, offering practical support to Emilia’s grandparents, mother, and father. Having this extended support enabled Emilia to rebuild the relationship with her mother, which had broken down because of the abuse. This really helped Emilia to overcome the trust issues she was struggling with. In addition, as Emilia’s attendance at school had slipped, the ISVA also put in place fortnightly face-to-face support in school together with a school support worker, helping Emilia to see school as a safe place.

After the trial with a guilty verdict, Emilia successfully sat her GCSEs. This was a remarkable achievement as many professionals working with her did not expect her to be alive, let alone sit exams. At the end of the support provided by Hampton Trust, Emilia was able to celebrate her resilience and achievements and has since successfully exited the service.

Emilia gave us the following feedback: “My ISVA is the lady that comes to me if I need support, or any guidance about the case, and if I had questions, she had the answers. I honestly believe that if she wasn’t here to help me, I wouldn’t be here. I have struggled a lot seeing everyone around me break, she’s been there for me and my whole family. She has saved my life.”

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