Advocates provide assistance, information, and realistic appraisal of time, procedure, and possible outcomes to help navigate unknown paths. There are basic responsibilities an advocate has to a victim/survivor:
Serve as a liaison between the victim/survivor and systems
Facilitate the victim's/survivor's decision-making
Inform the victim/survivor of their rights
Prepare the victim/survivor by providing them with necessary information
Accompany the victim/survivor as they move through systems
Inform the victim/survivor of other services available to them
Document services provided according to program requirements
Reach out for assistance and support when necessary
We provide services to younger victims, between the ages of 4 and 18, who are affected by domestic violence and/or sexual violence.
This is any one-on-one interaction between a trained program advocate and an eligible adult victim/ survivor, or third party on behalf of an adult victim/survivor, the purpose of which is to explain the criminal justice system, the civil court, or legal system (e.g. issues related to the PFA Act, divorce, custody, etc.) as well as the victim's/survivor's rights, etc.
Legal advocacy may also include accompanying the victim/survivor to court, the police station, legal services, etc., as support. Legal advocacy has the purpose of benefiting the victim/survivor with the service plan in mind.
Upon a request made by a victim/survivor, police or hospital emergency room personnel will call an advocate to meet with the victim/survivor. The advocate will introduce themselves as such and explain procedures that will take place and the reasoning for it. The advocate will stay with the victim/ survivor while they wait to be seen by medical personnel and ask them if they would like the advocate to be present during the exam.
After the exam, the advocate will meet with the victim/survivor to provide assistance, information, and realistic appraisal of time, procedure, and possible outcomes to help navigate the next step the victim/ survivor wishes to take. The advocate will ask if they can call the victim/survivor the next day to make sure they are okay and offer continuing support by The Abuse Network.