Every step of the way, from speaking to law enforcement to courtroom preparation, we advocate for survivors.  Navigating the criminal justice system can be overwhelming, and no survivor should be alone during what can often be a lengthy process.  Advocates may also assist with concerns relating to Crime Victim Compensation Act (CVCA) and Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA).

  • CVCA, or the Crime Victim Compensation Act, was created with the primary goal of assisting and reducing the financial cost for victims of violent crime and their families.
  • VESSA, the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, allows employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence or who have family or household members who are victims of such violence to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave per any twelve (12) month period to seek assistance.


Survivors of sexual violence often seek medical attention at the Emergency Department of their local hospital. Medical advocates are available to meet with survivors in the hospital to provide information and emotional support to the survivor and their loved ones. Advocates are available 24 hours a day year-round.

Common questions:

  • What if I have showered? Although you may have taken a shower, evidence may still be present.
  • What if it was a few days ago?  A sexual assault examination may be completed up to one week after the assault, but it may be situational.  A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will walk you through each process thoroughly, and a medical advocate may stay with you during the exam if you would prefer.
  • What is a SANE? A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), is a registered nurse who has been specially trained to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault patients in a medical setting. They are highly skilled in conducting forensic examinations any may testify as an expert witness in a criminal trial.
  • What happens next? After the exam, the medical advocate will ensure that you have all of the information that you will need, as well as safe transportation to your destination.  The advocate will follow up with you within 24-48 hours to discuss any questions or concerns that may have arisen over time.


Advocates work with clients and assist them in obtaining outside support and resources. They also connect survivors and their significant others with other area agencies and/or services when appropriate.


Our advocates may also assist survivors who are navigating the civil and criminal justice process, as well. Advocates may help clarify the procedures for filing No Contact Orders such as the Civil No Contact Order (CNCO) and the Stalking No Contact Order (SNCO), while helping the survivor understand which order would be the most appropriate order, given the offense.

Click here to see a chart created by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, highlighting the differences between No Contact Orders (CNCO and SNCO) and Orders of Protection ➨ IL Attorney General OP CNCO SNCO Chart.

  • Civil No Contact Order (CNCO) – A CNCO protests any person who is a victim of non-consensual sexual conduct or sexual penetration.  These orders may also extend to protect family or household members of the victim and/or rape crisis personnel.
  • Stalking No Contact Order (SNCO) – A SNCO protects any person who is a victim of a course of conduct that causes the victim to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person, or to suffer emotional distress, and relief is not available to the Victim through the Illinois Domestic Violence Act or through a CNCO.

If you would like to speak with an advocate at SACIS, which serves Coles, Cumberland and the southern half of Clark county, please contact the office by phone (217) 348-5033 or via email at

If you would like to speak with an advocate at CAISA, which serves serves Crawford, Edwards, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland and Wabash counties, please contact the office by phone (618) 544-9379 or via email at