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Independent Advocacy

The Independent Advocacy Service provides confidential support to Black femmes living, studying or working in England and Wales, who have experienced any form of gender-based violence.

Our advocates support survivors in understanding their rights, options and empower femmes to use their voice. This can be through support with a wide range of agencies including civil and criminal courts, housing, health and education.


Navigating the criminal justice system leaves most people feeling confused and disempowered. An Independent Advocate from HERSANA can help survivors pursue justice and put the building blocks in place to begin a new life. Our Independent Advocates can also provide emotional and practical support during a survivors journey.

Criminal Justice System

We recognise that it takes a huge amount of courage to bring a case against an abuser. We also know that legal system can be confusing, frightening or isolating, in particular for Black femmes. Our Independent Advocates provide expert guidance for survivors who are going through the civil and criminal courts to bring their abusers to justice.

Statutory Services

Our Independent Advocates can support femmes by advocating on their behalf with other – often statutory – agencies. We can help navigate services and areas such as medical care, authorities, appointments, housing, and finances, and provide femme survivors with information to help them make informed choices.

Financial Support

We help survivors take steps to regain their financial independence and begin to rebuild their life. We are able to support with supermarket vouchers, payments towards bills, course fees, white goods and more.

Housing Support

For those fleeing an abusive partner or family member, with or without children, our advocates can help find refuges and support around accessing emergency temporary accommodation with specialist staff on hand to offer one-to-one support.

Government Benefits

We help femmes fleeing abuse navigate the welfare benefits provided by the government, including special rules to support survivors.

Our Independent Advocacy Service is delivered by our fully accredited team of Black self-identified femme Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) and Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs).

We offer our advocacy sessions either online via a secure video platform or in-person at one of our SANA hub spaces.

We are committed to making this service accessible for people with disabilities, special educational needs and other additional needs. If the service user has any access or communications needs, please get in touch so that we can seek to accommodate them.

GPs, social workers, mental health workers or other professionals can refer clients for services through our online referral form.

If a survivor would like to refer themselves for advocacy at HERSANA, they can do this through our online self-referral form or by phoning us on 0333 016 9610.

All of our services are FREE.

We will contact the survivor to arrange an assessment with one of our advocates. This assessment is an opportunity for them to ask questions and discuss whether they are considering reporting to the police and would like any form of advocacy support, and for us to get relevant information. After this assessment process is completed a joint decision will be made about moving forward with support.

For more information please contact our Advocacy Manager at or call us on 0333 016 9610.

Professionals referral

GPs, social workers, mental health workers or other professionals can refer clients for services through our online referral form.

Our services

All of our services and projects aim to empower, support and educate. We work tirelessly to end violence against women and girls in all its forms – and with that in mind, we have designed a range of services that truly reflects our core values.

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