What does a sexual assault advocate do?
Acts of sexual violence are traumatic and may impact many different aspects of a victim/survivor’s life. Survivors have the right to know what their rights and options are so that they can decide what choices are best for them. Sexual assault advocates can provide emotional support, information, advocacy and referrals to victims/survivors no matter how long it has been since an act of sexual violence has occurred. Advocacy may involve taking a hotline call, meeting someone at a hospital for a forensic exam, explaining the legal process or assisting a survivor with basic needs like safe housing or maintaining employment. Advocates empower survivors to make informed decisions and assure them that their voices are heard.
As the statewide coalition, WCASA does not provide direct services to survivors. WCASA is dedicated to providing support to programs in developing and implementing core services to survivors. All advocacy services need to be trauma informed and tailored to best meet each survivor’s needs. All services to victims of sexual assault in Wisconsin provided through a Sexual Assault Service Provider (SASP) are free and confidential. Services are also available to family members, partners and friends of a victim of sexual violence who are also dealing with their own reactions to the trauma that was created by an act(s) of sexual violence.
For information on training, technical assistance or resources related to advocacy, contact Alma Mann, Programs Coordinator
Resources for Advocates
- Sexual Assault Advocacy Manual (WCASA, 2018) (*available on the Providers page)
- Resource Sharing Project (RSP)
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
- Picturing Your Program: Planning for Organizational Growth - an organizational assessment toolkit
- Foundations of Advocacy - training manual for core knowledge and skills for supporting survivors of sexual violence
- Resources and tools from Elevate/Uplift, a project supported by a collective of national organizations leading anti-sexual violence work
- Support for Survivors: Training Sexual Assault Counselor/Advocates in the 21st Century - VALORUS (formerly CALCASA)