Advocacy

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SACIS and CAISA staff and all volunteers are trained to provide support, information and assistance to survivors as they receive medical attention, as well as providing support to their significant others.  Survivors who choose to have their assailant legally prosecuted can also request support and assistance during all stages of the legal proceedings.

SACIS serves Coles, Cumberland and parts of Clark County Illinois
CAISA serves Crawford, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties

What is Advocacy?

After sexual assault, you may want someone to help you decide what to do.  You may want to go to the hospital for medical care.  You may want to report the attack to the police.  You may decide that you want the prosecutor to file criminal charges against the attacker.

During each step,  you can get help from a person called an advocate.  The advocate will help you, your family and your friends by giving you information and assistance at the hospital, police station and throughout the court process.  This help is called advocacy.

What is an Advocate?

An advocate supports the sexual assault victim.  They are a source of comfort, support and information for the victim and his or her loved ones.

The advocate knows about the medical care a victim receives after the attack, how the police can help, and how the courts systems work.  The advocate is the victim’s personal link to the medicals, police and court systems.

An advocate knows the workers at the hospital, police station, state’s attorney’s office and courthouse.  He or she works with these people to help the victim.  The Advocate helps them understand sexual assault and support the victim.  The advocate is available for the victim through every step of every process.

How Can I Get An Advocate?

Most advocates work at a rape crisis center.  All advocates are specially trained about sexual assault, emergency room procedures and the rape crisis center.

There are several ways you or your family and friends can get an advocate.

  • Call SACIS (1-888-345-2846) or CAISA (1-866-288-4888)
  • Go to a hospital emergency room.  Ask the nurses or hospital employees to call an advocate for the victim.  The advocate will come to the hospital to help the victim if the victims wants an advocate.
  • Call the police and ask for the police to call an advocate.

Remember, the advocate can be contacted at any time after the assault to help.  If the you have already reported to the police or received medical care, an advocate can still help through the court system.

Who Pays for the Advocate?

You will never have to pay for any service received at SACIS OR CAISA
The rape crisis centers receive special funds to pay the advocates’ salaries. 

 What does An Advocate Do?

After sexual assault, YOU make decisions about medical care and police reporting.  You may call the office hotline at ANY time day or night.  Through each step the advocate explains what will happen

  • The advocate helps you understand your choices and the decision you are making.
  • The advocate protects your right and ensures that you are respected at all times
  • The advocate speaks up for your wishes.
  • The advocate will help you get information about your case.

What Doesn’t An Advocate Do?

1) An advocate does not make decision for you– We cannot persuade you to make a particular decision about reporting, filing charges, participation in an evidence collection kit, or taking the case to court.  The advocate will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and make sure that your decision is respected at all times.

2) An advocate does not investigate the case– If you decide to report the crime or prosecute the attacker, the advocate does not investigate or gather facts to be used at trial.

3) An advocate is not a lawyer- The advocate helps you work with the State’s Attorney if you decide to prosecute the attacker.  The State’s attorney will be the one to handle your case at trial.

4) An advocate does not testify in court for you- The advocate will sit in the courtroom with you but will not testify.  This is to your rights to confidentiality are respected and nothing that you tell the advocate or your counselor from the agency will be repeated.

5) An advocate does not counsel the victim- As part of helping you through the medical, police and court systems, the advocate will talk to you about your feelings during these steps.  If you would like more counseling, the advocate will connect you with one of the counselors to aid you in your emotional recovery.