I'm a professional supporting someone

Professionals are able to refer people to Spring Lodge, the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Lincoln. We ask that you please make sure we are the right service for your client or patient first.

We have created a professionals guide and a process for professionals to help you understand the support we offer. If after reading our information, you want to refer someone to our service, please complete the referral form and return it via the email address provided on the form.

If you are unsure, please call us:

Telephone 01522 524402 (during office hours)

Telephone 0303 1234000 (out of hours)

and we can give you the right advice. It may be that another agency is more suitable and so we can give you their contact details.


What we need to know

Someone that has been raped or sexually assaulted may be experiencing a variety of emotions and have many complex needs. To get them the right help, professionals should try to sensitively ascertain the following information so that we can guide the person to the right support.

When did it happen?  

The person may need an emergency referral. Do they need medication such as emergency hormonal contraception? Are they in the time frame for a forensic medical examination?

Are they in danger now? 

Think about safeguarding needs and make relevant referrals if required. Are they a risk to themselves or others? Are they at risk from someone else?

Is the perpetrator dead or has it already been through a legal route? 

If so, this may mean that legal action cannot take place if that is what they had wanted. Our supportive workers can talk through other options for them such as support for their mental health and wellbeing which may include specialist counselling.  We can point them/you in the direction of the relevant agencies in Lincolnshire that do this as we are not commisioned to do that ourselves.

What does the person want to happen?

 Do they want to take legal action? Are they unsure and just want to talk to someone about their options?

What are they worried about? / What is the most important thing to them?


Ascertaining all of the above information before you call can help us direct the person to the right services and prevent further trauma for the person.

Forensic examinations

Spring Lodge is equipped with a forensically clean medical suite where Lincolnshire Police can bring all victims of rape and sexual assault in an emergency situation. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

When having a forensic examination the person has to give consent and can stop the process at any time - they are in control. During the examination they will receive support from the crisis worker who is there to make sure that they have the care they need.

There will also be a trained police officer present, This process could include taking intimate swabs for evidence purposes.This will help with the investigation should they wish to proceed down this route.

If someone is unsure whether they wish to pursue a legal investigation hey can still come and get help. The police and staff at Spring Lodge will listen to their wishes and needs sensitively and discuss the options available.

It is our aim  to get the victim the immediate help they need above everything else, including an investigation. We will discuss all options with them so that they can make informed decisions about what to do next. Feel free to call us with them present, if they consent, and we can have a chat about options over the phone there and then.

Timeframes for forensic examinations

  • Vaginal penetration : up to 1 week after the assault
  • Anal penetration : up to 3 days after the assault
  • oral or digital penetration : up to 2 days after the assault.

Our core aims

Our core aim is to provide emotional and practical support for those wishing to pursue the crime committed against them through the criminal justice system.

We can also provide information and alternative options to those who are unsure what they wish to do.

Finally, we signpost or refer to other relevant agencies for support such as me4ntal health, counselling, housing etc.

SARC do not provide a counselling service.

Independent Sexual Violence Advisor/Advocacy (ISVA)

The ISVA service offers practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted, both recently or in the past. They support everyone one in a non-judgmental way and work with individualsor professionals to identify a person's needs. They also help the person access other available support to address both their short and long term goals.

They ensure that if they cannot help with certain issues they will provide details of an agency that can. The ISVA supports the person through the criminal justice system. They provide information on what happens when someone reports to the police.

If the ISVA service is appropriate then the person will be given a named worker. They will then be contacted by telephone for a first appointment.

The additional ISVA support service team can also accept referrals if the person is unsure what they wish to do. For example, they may wish to look at giving intelligence to the police but not going legal themselves. This is known as Anonymous Intelligence Process 

More information on the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor


SARC pathway for professional referrals to ISVA service

  • The referrer can contact Spring Lodge for any enquiries regarding service or eligibility:

Telephone 01522 524402 (During office hours)

Telephone 0303 1234 000 (Out of hours)


  • A referral is made using our referral form SL35 and sent to our secure email lpft.springlodge@nhs.net
  • The referral is received and triaged for eligibility (eg.age) and to ensure required information is available for the ISVA service (eg. contact and details).
  • If ISVA is required for support for non-legal clients an ISVA will contact the person within 2 working days to arrange. This could be a chat about options and/or anonymous intelligence. It can be done via telephone or face to face. The outcome is advised to the referrer.
  • If ASVA support through the criminal justice system is required and appropriate, referrer will be notified of the named ISVA worker and they will contact the person within 2 working days.
  • If referral is inappropriate, or for services that we are not able to provide (eg. specialist counselling), the ISVA support service will advise referrer and signpost to more appropriate agencies.


Documents for professionals

List of pages