SOS Rape Crisis provides sexual violence services across Essex due to the nature of the work at SOS Rape Crisis, the organisation is a women’s led service – providing services primarily for women by women. For this reason, only female applicants need apply (exempt under section 7(2)(e) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975) and the above post is exempt under the Equality Act 2010, Schedule 9 and Part 1 5m 48s.

We often run Student Placements for adults who are qualifying to be Counsellors/Therapists if you would like to find out if we have any placements available please email

If you wish to volunteer for SOSRC and feel you have the necessary skills we would love to hear from you, please email


Specialist Engagement ISVA Job Description and Person Specification  

SOSRC’s recruitment policy intends to ensure that every applicant is treated fairly. This means that we are not able to consider previous applications or personal knowledge of you. It means that if you already work for SOSRC, we do not consider your personal file. 

The information you provide in your application form is the only information we will use in deciding whether you will be shortlisted for the interview process. Your application form is therefore very important, and the following advice is designed to help you complete it as effectively as possible. 


The person specification is the list of criteria or requirements regarded as necessary for the post.  To be considered for an interview you must fulfil each point of the person specification, demonstrating your abilities by telling us about your experience. 

Before you fill in the application form look at the person specification and decide how to relate your skills, knowledge, and experience to each point. Try not to repeat yourself by using just one area of your experience to cover more than one requirement. Draw upon your past and present jobs or interests; you may discover you have a broader range of skills than you imagined. 

Give examples of the work you have been involved in and write in a positive way (e.g. I was responsible for …… I organised…. etc) Always remember to specify your own responsibilities rather than those of your section or department. The most important thing is to tell us – we are unable to guess or make assumptions. 

Remember that voluntary work or work at home is as valuable as paid employment. It is important that your application relates to the job you are applying for. 


Application forms should be filled in as completely and as clearly as possible so that we can consider all candidates on the same basis.  

In completing the references section, please give as your referees your current and most recent employers where possible. 

Please email: to request an application pack.  

Please send your form on time. Closing Date for Applications: 5 pm 13th March 2022 Completed applications must be emailed to 


After the closing date, the application forms are read very carefully to see how each person’s skills and experience relate to the skills and experience in the person specification, and applicants who meet these requirements are shortlisted for interview. Only information contained in the application will be considered in making the decision to shortlist.


The interview panel will consist of representatives from the Essex Rape Crisis partnership. The questions are intended to allow you to expand on your application and to show the panel how far you meet the essential requirements of the post. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a  task/presentation either at or before the interviews. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the job, conditions of service, etc. 

Panel members must keep a record of their assessment of each candidate so that the reasons for their decision are clear and consistent. You should therefore not be worried about the panel taking notes. 

The main purpose of post: To provide emotional and practical support and information to victims and survivors of sexual violence who have reported to the police or are  

considering reporting to the police. This post will also include a specialist element, providing intensive, tailored support to victims and survivors who have been identified as being particularly likely to withdraw from the criminal justice process, are underserved, or marginalised. 

Location: Based at main premises at Southend, with regular travel across mid,  South & West Essex. 

Responsible to: ISVA and Advocacy Manager 

Preferred start date: ASAP (subject to enhanced DBS Check and satisfactory references) Salary: £25,481 – £30,451 depending on qualifications and experience.  

Contract: Fixed term to end 31st March 2023. There may be potential to extend if funding is secured. 

Hours: 37 hours per week (1.0 fte) 

Holiday: 28 days per year. 

Applications must specifically address each essential and desirable criterion, giving evidence from previous experience or qualifications.  

Application deadline: 5 pm 13th March 2022 

Interviews: TBC March 2022 at Southend 

Mandatory Specialist Training Dates: TBC. 

This post is restricted to women applicants under the Equality Act 2010, Schedule 9, Part 1. 


SOSRC is part of Synergy Essex – the Essex Rape and Sexual Abuse Partnership. We work closely with CARA (Centre for action on rape and abuse) and SOSRC (Thurrock) to deliver the contract for the Office for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex for services for victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse across Essex. 


SOSRC seeks to be an inclusive organisation that actively encourages, supports, and values diversity amongst both our service users and our workers. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds. 


Please note this job description is intended to outline the main duties of the post and may change as services are shaped and informed by feedback from service users. 


This post will also include a specialist element, providing intensive, tailored early intervention and support to victims and survivors who have been identified as being particularly likely to withdraw from the criminal justice process. 

Synergy Essex data analysis from 2016 to 2019 shows that victims and survivors are most likely to  withdraw from the CJS process if: 

  • They have been raped (as opposed to other sexual offences).
  • They are from low socio-economic status backgrounds
  • They have a mental health diagnosis.
  • If they are black/black British

This specialist post involves carrying a reduced caseload in order to provide more intensive support to these service users. It is essential the applicant has experience/knowledge of working with these service users, other ethnic minorities, and LGBT+ communities. This will need to be demonstrated as part of the application process. It also involves working with a small team of specialist ISVAs across the Synergy Essex partnership to look at ways to tailor support for these victims and survivors,  developing expertise and resources, and sharing knowledge and skills with the wider Synergy Essex team. 

Specialist Engagement ISVA ROLE 

Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) provide emotional and practical support and information to victims and survivors of sexual violence who have reported a sexual offence to the police or are considering reporting to the police.  

The role of an ISVA is to support victims and survivors by: 

  • Ensuring their voice is heard.
  • Helping them make the choices that feel right for them.
  • Accompanying them to important appointments and to court.
  • Supporting them with their next steps after the legal process is over, regardless of the outcome of the case.

If victims and survivors are considering reporting to the police, ISVAs can also help them by:

  • Providing impartial information to enable them to make an informed decision.
  • Offering an overview of criminal justice processes and what to expect if they do decide to report an offence. 
  • Supporting them in their next steps.

SOSRC provides an ISVA service to adults, young people, and children who have been victims of sexual violence from across south and west Essex.  

Most ISVA Service Users are referred to SOSRC through the Police or the Sexual Assault Referral  Centre (SARC). Service Users can also refer themselves. 


For all Service Users 

  • To liaise with SOSRC’s Information and Referrals Coordinator and the Synergy Essex team of First Contact Navigators in supporting new referrals to the ISVA service.
  • To undertake a risk assessment and support needs analysis with Service Users.
  • To develop individual service plans to address risks/support needs of Service users.
  • To help Service Users access services to which they are entitled, e.g. through setting up fast-track referral systems to sexual health follow-up services, making referrals to mental health services, assisting with the arrangement of child care, and returning to work. 
  • To provide face-to-face, telephone, and video link support (non-therapeutic) to Service Users and their supporters where appropriate.
  • To help Service Users to develop their own support network.
  • To explain criminal, legal, and if relevant, civil remedies and housing options to Service Users. To provide information in relation to Criminal Injuries Compensation.
  • Where relevant and with Service User’s consent, to keep other agencies informed about important changes in Service User’s situation.
  • To consider safeguarding issues and follow SOSRC’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

If a Service User reports to the Police 

  • To support the Service User through the criminal justice system, explaining the procedures and their role and rights within the system. 
  • Subject to local arrangements and the wishes of the Service User, to support the Service User in the witness statement and during the trial phase in conjunction with the Witness Services.
  • To liaise with the police and CPS on behalf of the Service User. To keep the victim informed about case progress on behalf of the police in line with the requirements of the Victims Code of Practice. 
  • To participate in case conferences with the police, CPS, and prosecuting barrister. 
  • To understand and support the need for some Service Users to access special measures. 


  • To manage a caseload of 50 Service Users, including adults, young people, and children.
  • To maintain and monitor records of all cases, using a purpose-built online database.
  • To follow procedures and protocols so that the safety of the Service User is kept central to any process.
  • To note and feedback to other agencies difficulties Service Users are having accessing their service. 
  • To contribute to the development of service policies, protocols, guidelines, and strategies within an area of practice as necessary.  
  • To develop and maintain effective communication systems with key partners including the police, CPS, court service, social services, education, primary care trust (mental and sexual health), Victim Support, Witness Service, CAFCASS, and voluntary sector organisations. 
  • To participate in team meetings, supervision, training, and development. 
  • To provide specialist advice to other workers and agencies, including participation in the delivery of training sessions. 
  • To develop and supervise the work of SOSRC volunteers, where appropriate.
  • To have a clear understanding of the myths and facts of sexual violence, trauma, the long-term mental health effects of sexual violence, self-harm, suicidal feelings, and attempts.
  • To be aware of resources available regarding interpreters, signers, etc. 
  • To adhere in full to all SOSRC’s organisational policies and procedures, including safeguarding procedures. 
  • To report to the ISVA and Advocacy Manager, Director and Trustees as required, including the production of regular written reports. 
  • To be administratively self-servicing. 
  • To undertake any other related activities as required by the ISVA and Advocacy Manager,  Director, or the Board of Trustees.



Experience of successfully delivering information and support to vulnerable individuals in a voluntary, public sector, health, or social care service setting. 

Experience of providing professional information and guidance to members of the public, external agencies, and other forums. 

Experience of working with highly sensitive and confidential information. 

Experience of multi-agency working and negotiating with organisations with differing priorities (including local authorities, statutory agencies, and the voluntary sector) and forming professional relationships with colleagues from a range of agencies. 

Experience of lone working and personal safety. Experience of working within a team



  Demonstrable ability to identify safeguarding children  and adults and manage risk





Ability to work on own initiative, manage caseloads and meet objectives in a complex, challenging fast-paced environment. 

Ability to adopt a creative approach to problem-solving, adapting to changes in circumstances and information. 

Computer literate and proficient in word-processing,  spreadsheets, databases, email, etc. Working knowledge of Microsoft applications. 

Self-motivated with a demonstrable ability to motivate others. 

Ability to focus on and understand the needs of individuals, services, and other partners and strive to deliver a prompt, effective, and personalised service.




An understanding of sexual violence and abuse and  its impact on victims and survivors 

An understanding of the additional barriers that some  victims face in accessing the criminal justice system  and a demonstrable commitment to improving  engagement amongst groups likely to withdraw from  the criminal justice process 

Knowledge of local and national strategies, policies and legislation relevant to the area of work. 

Demonstrate an understanding of the needs of excluded, marginalised, and vulnerable people. 

Knowledge of quality frameworks and evaluation frameworks. 

Understanding of confidentiality and data protection. 

Knowledge of the welfare benefits system including  claim assessment, DWP and local authority benefits  benefit maximisation, appeals, and complaints





Additional requirements  ESSENTIAL  DESIRABLE
  Willing to work flexibly in accordance with policies and procedures to meet the operational needs of the service.



Willing to undertake training and continuous professional development in connection with the post. 

Work in accordance with Essex Rape Crisis policies and procedures. 

Willingness to travel across Essex regularly and work weekends and evenings on occasions as required. 

Full, clean driving licence with access to own  transportation





The Synergy Essex Rape Crisis Partnership, comprising of South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC), Southend Rape Crisis Centres (SOSRC) and Mid & North Essex Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA) are three independent dedicated specialist sexual violence organisations, providing services across the whole of Essex, working with individuals who are suffering or have suffered trauma as a result of sexual violence they have experienced. SynergyEssex have entered into a binding partnership arrangement to progress co-production, define and disseminate best practice and meet individual survivors needs across the county of Essex. The partnership works through a community based sexual violence model that is accessible, safe, appropriate and has regard for individual needs from the first point of contact.

The SynergyEssex Rape Crisis Centres provide confidential and non-judgemental support for survivors of any form of sexual abuse that has occurred at any time in their lives – whether it has occurred recently, a long time ago or is still happening.

SOS Rape Crisis supports survivors who live in the area of Southend-on-Sea, Castle Point, and Rochford.


To co-facilitate advisory sessions in schools across Southend for young people (aged 11-18) in raising awareness of the effects of sexual violence. Sessions will be interactive and focus on the young person’s responses with primary learning outcomes to dispel myths related to sexual violence and abuse.

For more information please contact: Service Manager on Tel: 01702 667590


SOS Rape Crisis policy is not to provide support to people who disclose, or have been accused of or investigated for sexual or violent offences.  However, in exceptional circumstances, the centre may decide to offer support to clients who fall into this category.   Decisions on whether support will be offered will be made on a case-by-case basis, and will be at the discretion of the centre.