People can access a number of services from the Oak Centre. Each person will have their own particular set of circumstances, which will dictate what services will be available to them, every person will have their own care plan.
People can access forensic medical examinations – this allows the gathering of forensic evidence to assist a police investigation in the immediate aftermath of an assault. It also allows for healthcare needs to be met and sexual health issues to be addressed. We have recently opened to ‘self referral’ medicals. This means that adults who have been assaulted within the last seven days can come to us to access a forensic medical, without the involvement of the police. This allows gathering and storage of forensic evidence, whilst allowing access to therapy. If that person then reports the offence to the police, then the samples can be used to support the investigation.
Children and young people can be seen for an acute examination, but can also access something called a historic medical. Our paediatric team can assess for any genital injury whilst reassuring children and their families that there has been no permanent damage following assault/abuse.
Other support we offer
People that are considering or have reported to the police can access Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service. The ISVA’s role is to provide practical and emotional support through the criminal justice process. They act as their client’s advocate, ensuring that they have information about the process so that they can make informed decisions about their care. ISVAs will also attend court with people and support them when they give evidence.
If someone is unsure about reporting to the police, they can meet with an ISVA to discuss what that might look like, and what their options are. One of these options is anonymous information sharing. This is when the SARC shares details of an offence and alleged perpetrator with the police, without sharing the details of the victim. This will be recorded as intelligence by the police and can assist in public protection.
We also have a therapy provision. We offer pre and post-trial therapy and our therapist is qualified to provide Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a treatment for trauma recommended by NICE.