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Following the sentence of a sexual offender in Essex, we want to highlight the work our officers and our partners do, to support victims of rape and sexual abuse.
Adam Campbell, 35 of no fixed address appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court last Tuesday (27 September) where he was sentenced to 12 years after being found guilty of rape of a girl under 13. In court, the Judge described how Campbell’s offences had left a “tragic legacy”.
The investigation into Campbell was launched in May 2021, following his arrest after a young girl was raped in Braintree.
From the moment a sexual offences investigation is launched, the victim becomes number one priority for Essex Police and our partners. Toni Jones, from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service has worked as the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) for this investigation.
“A common misconception with ISVAs is that we’re police officers, which we’re not. In this case, I was able to work alongside Detective Constable Eden Quinn from Essex Police, so that she could work mostly on the investigative side, and I could provide the victim with tailored independent support that would enable her to understand the criminal justice process.”
Having worked as an ISVA since 2020, Toni covers the Basildon area, with there being three rape crisis centres across Essex. ISVA’s are funded by the Police and Fire Crime Commissioner. There is a structured referral pathway in place from Essex Police. Other referrals come through charities, Local Authorities, counselling services, and health services.
Toni adds “My main role is to provide specialist practical and emotional support services tailored to the victim or survivor as well as acting as a single point of contact for them. The criminal justice system is complex and can be totally overwhelming to someone who has been through traumatic sexual violence or sexual abuse. Part of my role is to give that practical support by explaining the criminal justice process, outlining the process within investigations, and upholding the victim’s rights. All synergy Essex ISVA’s are qualified and accredited to provide support through the criminal justice process. My conversations with victims can be in-depth discussions about navigating their way through the criminal justice process, focusing support around managing the impacts of sexual violence and sexual abuse such as mental health, homelessness or social care involvement or general conversations about other things that are happening in their life school, college, work, relationships. This is all part of the role.
“As ISVAs, we can also provide a one-off session to those who’re undecided if reporting to the police is right for them. These one-to-one sessions are called ‘Informed choice sessions’, that are there to provide impartial information to survivors around the process of what happens when they report sexual violence or sexual abuse to Police, these sessions are designed to empower survivors in making their own choice in what’s right for them.
“In this case, as with many, the survivor of sexual abuse was groomed into a false reality. The offender manipulates them into thinking that this is their world now and this is what they are worth.
“I hope that the victim in this case knows how proud Essex Police and I are of her, and the strength she has demonstrated has been nothing short of admirable. Since she was subjected to this horrendous abuse, this victim has had her childhood stripped away from her and she will never get back those years she had to carry this around with her.
“Spending time with her as reiterated just how the impact of trauma can be everlasting. My wish is for her to travel through life, being the person, she is inside, artistic, generous, smart and witty. This experience of sexual violence does not define her as a person. One day the weight of this will begin to lift and support will always be available to her.”
Following the sentence of Adam Campbell, DC Eden Quinn from our Child Abuse Investigation Team said:
“I am so pleased with this result. The hard work of the investigation team and the ISVA as well as the strength of the victim has meant that a dangerous man is in jail.
“Our number one priority throughout these investigations is the victim.
“As a force, we have invested a lot of time and training into better understanding how to safeguard victims as well as understand the behaviour of sexual offence perpetrators.
“Perpetrators are often coercive controllers, and they will groom and isolate their victims. This is exactly what Campbell did and his manipulating behaviour almost made the victim feel as if they were to blame for the horrendous crimes he committed.
“I hope that the victim finds some peace with this result and is able to move beyond this chapter. Her bravery and strength so far has been incredible, and I have every faith that she will grow into an incredible woman. I will never forget her.
“I also hope that this case may highlight to other survivors of sexual violence or abuse, that there is help available to them and that they are not alone. There is more to police investigations than people may first think and it’s never too late to get support.”
Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex. The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:
Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones.
For more information about how to get support, visit their website: Sexual violence support and advice Essex (synergyessex.org.uk)