Independent support and information for those navigating the police and court process following sexual violence.
Our dedicated advocacy service offers support to survivors who have decided to, or have already reported to the police following an experience of sexual violence that has happened at any time in your life.
Our advocacy service can offer advice, information and support before, during and after: reporting to the police; police investigation; the court process. You can contact the advocacy service whether or not you have received support from Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre before.
Who is Advocacy for?
- Survivors who have reported or want to report sexual assault or rape to the police
- Survivors of sexual violence over 12
- All women (including trans women), non-binary people and trans men
- Survivors, including men, who are giving a statement via Video Recorded Interview (VRI)
Our Advocacy Service offers:
- Free and confidential trauma-informed support for survivors engaged in the criminal justice system (the police and the courts)
- Space to explore your options and understand the police and court processes
- Specialist workers who can help you understand the criminal justice system and your rights
- Independent from the police and courts
An advocacy worker can:
- Provide emotional and practical support before, during and after: reporting to the police, the police investigation, and the court process
- Explain the police, forensic and court processes to you, ensuring you understand what is happening at each stage
- Be with you when you make a statement to the police
- Be with you at a forensic medical exam
- Attend court appointments with you
- Be with you during giving evidence in court
- Liaise with the police and court on your behalf
- Tell the police about an incident of sexual violence or offender on your behalf
An advocacy worker will:
- Keep what you discuss together confidential
- Let you make your own informed decisions
- Ensure your views and opinions are fully heard and communicated
An advocacy worker will not:
- Tell you what to do
- Put pressure on you to make any decision
An advocacy worker is on your side and is interested in supporting you to make the decisions that are right for you.
It is your choice to report or not and only you can decide what’s right for you
“I was assaulted within the last 7 days.” Contact us to receive support to explore your options as soon as possible. If you report to the police, they should collect any forensic evidence immediately because this deteriorates quickly. If you’re not sure about reporting yet, you can contact NHS Scotland’s Sexual Assault Response Coordination Service (SARCS) on 0800 148 88 88 (open 24 hours, 7 days a week), for an independent forensic examination service within 7 days of the incident. They can store your evidence for 26 months, giving you more time to make a decision about whether to go to the Police. Find our more at: nhsinform.scot/SARCS.
“What if it happened a long time ago?” You can report sexual assault no matter when it happened.
“Can I change my mind?” Yes. It can be difficult to withdraw from the process but it’s possible. Contact us for more information.
“I don’t think I want to report to the police.” You don’t have to! The decision to report is entirely up to you.
“I’m just not sure.” Reporting a rape or sexual assault is a big decision and it’s ok to be unsure. Contact us for more information email@example.com.
How do I contact the advocacy support service?
To make a referral or an appointment with our advocacy service please leave a message on our call back phone: 0131 556 9437, or you can email our support service on: firstname.lastname@example.org. When you contact us we will aim to offer you an appointment as soon as possible within office hours.
Our advocacy information information has been translated into the following languages: