What is Advocacy

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU

WORKING TO HELP SURVIVORS OVERCOME THE EFFECTS OF TRAUMA   

​If you or someone close to you has been sexually assaulted, know that you are not to blame for what happened to you, and that you are not alone.
       

 

Get to a place of safety and call our 24 hour hotline at 866-666-4576. You will be connected with a sexual assault advocate. If you feel as though you are in immediate danger, please call 911. All communication between a sexual assault victim and an advocate is confidential. 
 
Role of the Advocate:
  • The advocates of the Sexual Assault Recovery Program are here to help you, whether you were assaulted today, a week ago or years ago.  Sexual assault can be a life altering event and a victim’s decision to seek help may be immediate or it may take some time. Each case is as unique as the person who experiences it.  
 
  • A sexual assault victim advocate is a specially trained, community based service representative whose role is to support, comfort and provide information to individuals and their loved ones who have experienced sexual assault. SARP is a confidential and free service to victims which is not affiliated with the medical or law enforcement entities. The role of the advocate is to focus solely on the needs of the victim/survivor, both at the time the crime is reported and for as long as those services are needed.
  • The advocate will listen to you without judgment; believe you without reservation; help you to assess your options going forward and will wholeheartedly support you in whatever decisions you make.   Only you know what course of action is best for you 

 

Specific Help Provided by Advocate:     
  • ​The advocate will accompany you to a medical facility for examination, if that is what you choose to do, and will stay with you for the duration of the examination and beyond. A medical examination is always a good idea, whether or not you decide to report the assault to authorities.Medical facilities with Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs are always the most desirable facilities to seek medical attention at.These nurses are specially trained to treat injuries related to sexual violence as well as to collect evidence of the sexual assault should the victim decide to have that evidence collected.
  • The advocate will help you to talk to your loved ones who may not understand the dynamics of sexual violence.The advocate will also provide the loved ones with information on how best to support you as you deal with this life changing event.
  • The advocate will accompany you to meet with the local law enforcement agency if your decision is to report the assault.(Note:  all adults have the option of reporting to police or not.  Minors may not have that option due to mandatory reporting laws.)
  • If you decide to report to the police, your advocate will, if you desire, accompany you to all meetings with law enforcement and the district attorney as well as any court proceedings.
    What is a sexual assault victim advocate?
  • The advocate will help you to develop a safety plan; access necessary resources including filing for Crime Victim Compensation and applying for restraining orders or harassment injunctions. 
 

© 2013 Sexual Assault Recovery Program, A Program of Family Services of Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, Inc.