Report from The Ferns November 2020

October 2019 – September 2020                             Over 18          Under 18
Clients attending for Medical Forensic Exam           159                   81
Clients referred for ISVA                                               425                 156
Clients for Intelligence                                                       6                N/A
Difference between physical attendance & referral 260                 75
Above is the data for the past year. You will note that we receive significantly increased numbers for ISVA support compared to actual physical attendance to the SARC. We feel this highlights the national trend for survivors of sexual violence to delay coming forward immediately and often for years after the offence.
This does not mean they are any less in trauma, indeed the opposite is frequently true. Whilst the majority of all referrals come via the police, there is a much smaller flow of referrals from self and other agencies, with a mere 11.94% of over 18 and 19.75% of under 18 clients that attended for physical examination, being self or other agency referral. The greatest number of referrals in under 18s other than the police is from social care. This is an area we have worked alongside Mountain Healthcare to develop and the results are encouraging.
We are now looking at how our message of support can be transferred via a number of media platforms as, especially since Covid, we are working predominantly remotely. Hopefully this action will increase referrals from other areas.
The vast majority of our clients are female, white British, heterosexual, and aged between 15 and 45. This has been a trend for several years, and we recognise we have substantial work to do if we are to engage groups outside of this well-established cohort. Covid has restricted us considerably in going out and about to build bridges with various communities, but there has been some headway and we will continue to pursue all engagement.
We are extremely pleased to report that Covid has not impacted on the number of referrals we have accepted. The ISVAs have worked really hard to ensure their clients receive the very best support they can provide and the SARC administrative staff and crisis workers have continued to ensure all clients requiring attendance for a medical/forensic examination are seen in a safe, Covid compliant environment.
To date, we have had no Covid sickness and no reports of any positive Covid tests at The Ferns.
We have recruited 5 new zero hours crisis workers who will join us in a few weeks, as well as securing funding from the MoJ for another ISVA who will join us for an 18-month temporary contract.
The clients FotF have assisted over the past year, particularly during Covid, have given some extremely positive feedback.
We are all very grateful for all the amazing work FotF does to support our clients. We feel truly privileged to be associated with such a generous and kind group.
Louise Elmy, SARC Manager

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