Application of Section 41 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999: A Survey of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)
LimeCulture conducted a survey of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and asked them about the court cases that they have attended over a two-year period – April 2015 – April 2017 – the findings have shown that Section 41 of the Youth Justice Crime and Evidence Act 1999 is not alway being applied in line with Government guidelines.
Section 41 was introduced in 1999 to protect victims from unfair questioning about their previous sexual history during court proceedings.
The findings outlined in this report show that complainants are not always consistently informed about the intention to question them about their sexual history, which could also mean there is no opportunity for the prosecution to challenge this, or to take instructions, or to call witnesses to challenge the facts of the sexual history being discussed. As victims of sexual crime do not have access to independent legal representation, it is up to the judge or prosecution to ensure Section 41 is upheld correctly. It is clear this not happening in all cases.
To view the survey results and full report click here
An Audit of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA)
During August and September 2014, King’s College London and LimeCulture jointly conducted ‘An Audit of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)’. The report was published in February 2015 and yielded new information about the role of the ISVA, including a profile of ISVAs and their clients, as well as a description of the way in which the role is being undertaken, the nature of caseloads and working practices, ISVA training and supervision, and ISVAs’ perceptions on the role and its future. The findings have implications for policy and practice; these are framed in ten key recommendations. To view the report please click here
Mapping ISVA Services in England and Wales
In August 2015, LimeCulture was commissioned by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to undertake an ISVA Services mapping exercise. The mapping exercise took place between September and November 2015 and enabled LimeCulture to compile a dabase based on a snap-shot of the ISVA services that were operating during that time.
This is the first time that ISVA services across England and Wales have been mapped in this way and therefore the outcome of the Mapping exercise is that it provides the most up-to-date information about ISVA services that is currently available.
The ISVA Service Mapping exercise also enabled the identification of individual ISVAs who operate within the ISVA Services across England and Wales for the first time. Although this does not amount to a central register of ISVAs, it does provide the most comprehensive list of individual ISVAs currently available, as well as providing information about their accredited training.
The main aim of the Mapping exercise was to underpin the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s knowledge around ISVA services, should they be required by individuals engaging with the Inquiry who are in need of local support.