Advocacy Q&A

What is an Advocate?

    A sexual assault advocate is a staff member or volunteer who is associated with a sexual assault advocacy program who has a commitment and awareness of the issue and is trained to guide you, as a victim/survivor through the medical, criminal court, and healing process. Advocates have empathy towards your experiences, respects your needs and wants, and can give support throughout your healing process.

 
An Advocate will:

  • Provide victims with emotional support, information, options, and assistance.
  • Listen to a victims wants and needs while providing guidance for them to make their own choices.
  • Inform survivors of their rights as victims of violent crime.
  • Accompany a victim through medical exams, police interviews, and court proceedings if requested.
  • Respect all the victims decisions and choices concerning their healing process.
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    Who may request an Advocate?

      Advocacy services are available to any past or present victims of sexual violence and their families and friends. Types of sexual violence crimes include but are not limited to: rape, adult sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and sexual harassment.

     
    How can an Advocate assist other community professionals?

      Advocates provide critical and unique services to sexual violence victims as they navigate the medical and legal systems. Victims rely on advocacy services for support, information, and guidance through the process. Advocates build lasting, long-term relationships with their clients and can often serve as effective liaisons between community professionals and the victim and victim's family. This type of relationship builds trust between all parties and works to limit dissatisfaction and frustration on either end.

     
    How can I contact an Advocate?

      If you would like to get in touch with a trained sexual violence advocate, call the Sexual Assault Program of Northern St. Louis County at (218) 749-4725 or call or text (218) 780-7227. Advocacy services are confidential and available 24 hours a day by phone. In addition to calls, office walk ins are welcome at 327 1st St S, Suite 17, Virginia, MN during office hours.

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