Online training an advocates role in s.a. crisis intervention
An Advocates Role in Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Children Elderly Disabled LGTBI
Define Advocate 1.Somebody giving support Somebody who supports or speaks in favor of something 2. Helper Somebody who acts or intercedes on behalf of another
Working with kidsGather as much information about the case as possible before determining if you as an advocate should be responding. Know youragencies policy. Know protocol for your service area. Most cases are the responsibility of the Department of Family Services.In what types of cases would this not be true?
Advocates Role (support)• Believe the child• Do not question the child• Tell the child that it is not their fault• Answer questions asked of you by the child as honestly as possible.• Know the componants of the rape kit to explain what is happening• Make sure you give the child the care and support he or she needs
Support for Family• Have additional advocate present if possible to assist family• Learn family dynamics through interview process• Share the process with them• Do not make promises• Do allow them to be angry• Do not get angry
NOT part of your role as Advocate• Do not interview child- changes your role• Do not become an assistant to hospital staff• Do not make promises about case and anything you are not 100% will happen
Working with the ElderlyOlder victims can be vulnerable to sexual assault because…• He/ She is predictable• Less able to physically defend• More dependant on other for assistance• Live alone, not a lot of outside contact
What seniors need of Advocate• Non-judgmental emotional support• Protection from access by the abuser• Medical care• Legal remedies when appropriate and wanted
Crisis Advocacy• Understand that this generation seldom mentioned the word rape or believed it only happened to bad girls.• Women who were raped were ruined and it was their fault.• Because of this they may be reluctant to share thus a greater need for advocate.• Young advocate need to be extremely respectful- do not refer by first name unless asked to.• Follow victims lead as far as language about assault. They may be very uncomfortable about sexual terms used in society today.• Consider needs of survivor as to other needs that may have come from the assault. –money taken, doors or windows broke, if caregiver perpetrator, transportation problems.
Crisis intervention with the Disabled• Survivors with disabilities are not helpless, do not assume you know what the survivor can and cannot do.• It is important to take time to build trust plan for extra time (slow down entire process) medical and law enforcement.• Be aware of the number of people involved in victims life.• Be careful to treat an adult as an adult• Understand that wheelchair is part of their personal space.
• Get eye level with victim.• Use simple language• Be patient• Many people with disabilities have limited knowledge about private parts sexual activity and have been to not to take about sexuality.
Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bi-Sexual, inter-sexual Crisis Intervention• Do not assume to know unless they self identify• Educate yourself and others to better serve victims.• Know your own beliefs, do not work with population if you are homophobic.• Be able to refer out to another advocate or agency.• They may not be “out” to friends and family.• Use all-incusive erms like partner instead of husband or girlfriend• Never “out’ your client in any setting
• May perceive that assault as punishment meted against them for their life.• Victim is hyperaware of personal weaknesses.• Focus on empowerment• Victim does not need to identify to anyone including Law Enforcement, medical or Advocate.• The possibility of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases may be concerns Victim isn’t used to thinking about .• Be aware that survivor may find questions, such as What is your method of birth control?, uncomfortable or inappropriate.
General Guidelines for Helping Victims of Sexual Assault • Believe the victim. The greatest fear of sexual assault survivors is that they will not be believed or that their experience will be minimized as "not important." Remember that victims are raped by someone they know four times more often than by strangers. Accept what you hear - even if the perpetrator involved is as popular, desirable person, and even if the victim appears confused and unable to put thoughts together clearly. After a sexual assault, the victim is in shock. She or he may appear either calm and collected, or very emotional. Both extremes are possible and normal reactions. Also, a sexual assault which does not involve a completed rape can be as traumatic as a rape, so treat any sexual assault victim with the same care and concern.
• Listen. Let the victim talk and tell the story at her/his own speed. Be patient if the victim is silent and just needs you to sit with her/him
• Reinforce that the sexual assault was not the victims fault. Avoid questions that seem to blame the victim such as Why didnt you scream?" and "Why did you go to his room?" Allow the victim to talk out feelings of self-blame, but help her/him to see that the perpetrator is responsible for the sexual assault.
• For recent assaults, encourage the victim to report the assault and preserve evidence. The sooner a sexual assault is reported, the better the likelihood of charges being filed and of the offender’s convicted.
• Reporting an assault does not necessarily mean pressing charges- that decision is made later, but it is important to collect evidence to keep that option open.
• You or the police can assist the victim in obtaining a post-assault examination This exam must be done as soon as possible (within 120 hours), and the victim should not wash, brush teeth, or change or destroy clothes.
• Encourage the victim to seek medical attention. Victims of sexual assault are at risk for internal injuries (which may not be immediately apparent), sexually- transmitted disease, and unwanted pregnancy. Even those who were not assaulted in the recent past should be encouraged to get tested for sexually- transmitted infections which may have no obvious symptoms.
• Suggest seeking counseling and other support services. This does not mean the victim must report the rape to the police. A trained counselor can guide the survivor through the first critical hours after an assault. Support services are also available for those who have been sexually assaulted in the past.
• Help the victim to organize her/his thoughts, but let her/him make decisions on how to proceed. The survivor needs to gain a feeling of being in control. Try to separate how you feel about what has happened from what is best for the victims recovery. If the victim decides not to report it, let her/him know that you support that decision, even if you do not agree.
• Take care of yourself. Assisting a friend in need can be stressful. Set aside time for yourself and your daily responsibilities so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by her problems. Seek help if you need to, and don’t feel that you have to “do it all.”
• Acknowledge your limitations. Realistically identify your abilities to assist the victim. Refer the victim to an experienced professional, who is knowledgeable about sexual assault issues.