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What is a Victim Advocate?

Crisis Connection has a staff of six Victim Advocates who work with women, men, and families that have been impacted by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The advocates have shared responses to several questions that will provide some insight into what they do in their role at the agency. The following is a compilation of responses from the Advocate team.

What led you to become a victim advocate?
  • I knew, trusted, and respected the CCI staff and the services provided.  
  • I felt like it would be a way I could help others in my community and bring awareness to domestic violence/sexual assault.  
  • I came from a case management background.
  • I believe we are here to help individuals discover their own strengths, identify their options, and learn to make good choices.

What kinds of things do you help survivors with?
  • Accompany clients to court
  • Crisis intervention
  • Help with safety planning
  • Help navigate the criminal justice system
  • Provide support 24 hours a day through the Hotline
  • Provide on-going case management as clients progress through the healing process
  • Attend Forensic Interviews during the investigation of an alleged sexual assault on a child
  • Be a calming, non-judgmental presence
  • Educate and support clients to help make all the relationships in their lives healthier
  • Teach about self care, boundaries, and consequences of decisions
  • We do NOT tell victims what to do
  • Help clients find shelter and transportation
  • Provide parenting support
  • Assist with completing complex paperwork
  • Provide needed personal and household items and Hopeline phones
Does work follow you home?
As advocates, we all try to NOT let our work "follow us home".  We talk with our clients about using healthy boundaries and we need to practice that ourselves.  We do care and worry about our clients that are in dangerous situations.  We all take turns being on call after hours,which spreads out the responsibility of handling the middle-of-the-night calls.  As a good, healthy, supportive team, we assist each other and are prepared to provide advice and input as needed. 

What's the hardest part of your job?
  • The gaps in the criminal justice system and how people can treat themselves/others.
  • Listening to victims retell their stories.
  • Sometimes the stories are really awful and you have to put on this professional face when you really just want to cry with them or give them a hug.

What's the best part of your job?
Sometimes, I can help someone effect a change so profound in their life that it changes their trajectory completely.  Therefore, changing the course of the people they love and so on.

What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are necessary to be success as a Victim Advocate?
An advocate must be an "active" listener, ask clarifying questions, be present in the moment, be knowledgeable of available resources, continue ones training as it relates to the job, and be a constant educator to the community, peers, and stakeholders on the issues that surround their clients.  We need to show empathy, remain calm and focused, and regulate our own emotions.

What changes are currently happening in the field?
There is a movement toward Trauma Informed Care in working with survivors of domestic violence.  Adopting a trauma-informed approach to domestic violence advocacy means attending to survivors’ emotional as well as physical safety. Just as we help survivors to increase their access to economic resources, physical safety, and legal protections, using a trauma informed approach means that we also assist survivors in strengthening their own psychological capacities to deal with the multiple complex issues that they face in rebuilding their lives. It also means ensuring that all survivors of domestic violence have access to advocacy services in an environment that is inclusive, welcoming, destigmatizing, and non-retraumatizing.  Becoming trauma-informed in every aspect of service delivery and design means that agencies and advocates will not further re-victimize the women, men, and children seeking services. It will support survivors in their healing and recovery.
Our victim advocates are available 24-hours a day.  Please call our Hotline at 1.800.245.4580 if you are needing services.
Upcoming Events
Tickets can be purchased at the Jasper office, located at
1500 S. Meridian Rd. or by calling 812.482.1555
Volunteers are of HUGE value to nonprofit organizations.  The ability of people to work willingly together for the betterment of their community and themselves is a priceless resource.  Please join us to learn more.
Assets Are Us!
We've been on a journey promoting the use of the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets.  The assets provide a proven framework for action that encourages all individuals to make a difference in the life of a child, no matter who they are or what their lives are like.  We are pleased to announce that we've added '40 Developmental Asset' materials to our website! See them at: crisisconnectioninc.org/40-developmental-assets/.  It includes our monthly calendars with simple daily suggestions, a link to ParentFurther, a link to our Pinterest page that is loaded with resources (www.pinterest.com/crisisconnect) and a great tool entitled 'Dot To Dot'.

The next training (Developmental Assets To Help Youth Thrive) will be offered at the Pike County Library on September 12, 2017 (11:30 - 1:30 EST).  See www.iyi.org/ywc.

Keep your eyes open for additional training development opportunities including, Stewards of Children, Resilience, Reject, Paper Tigers, Raising of America, Audrie & Daisy, Human Trafficking, and Grit/Growth Mindset.
Copyright © 2017 Crisis Connection, Inc., All rights reserved.


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