“It is important to have a plan in place to meet the needs of sexual abuse and exploitation victims when they arise. Wishful thinking and hope for the best, fake it ‘til you make it attitude can be very damaging before, during, and after a sexual assault occurs.”
What is a sexual abuse and exploitation victim advocate?
Do you need sexual abuse and exploitation victim crisis advocacy support within your organization? Are sexual abuse resources for victims limited in your area? Professional sexual abuse advocates are trained to come alongside victims during a crisis, offer support to family members, and act as an intermediary with law enforcement, county resource agencies, and organizational leaders.
Many victims are relieved to have an advocate present to help assure their safety and to receive the help they need to recover from the impact of the crime. An advocate is brought into a crisis to ‘advocate’ for the victim. An advocate will establish trust with the victim to help guide them in decision-making during the acute phase of a crisis. Advocates are available on-site to offer emotional support, and information about prevention, legal rights, criminal justice processes, and safety planning. They can help find resources and can even assist with interviews, paperwork, and court issues.
The role of a sexual abuse or exploitation advocate may vary depending on who calls the advocate in to help in a crisis. An advocate may aid police or other agency workers in an investigation or case management alongside a victim. Confidentiality and mandated reporting can also vary in differing advocacy situations. Advocates often work to influence change in legislation, culture, and aid organizations in implementing best practices for victims.
“I don’t know what we would have done without you. We had no idea how to help her the night of the rape. Thank you for helping us navigate the system.”
MOTHER OF TEEN RAPE VICTIM
“It happened in our church. We were in shock. How is it even possible? Thank you for helping us get the help we need and more importantly tell the leadership what we didn’t know how too.”
PARENTS OF TEEN BOY
“We knew something was wrong. She never disclosed. Thank you for helping her open up and share what was destroying her.”
PARENTS OF TEEN RAPE VICTIM
If you need a sexual assault advocate within your church, business, law enforcement agency, community resource agency, or medical and healthcare facility, reach out to find out what services may be offered in your area. Let’s Connect: Trish@brokenorbeautiful.org