Advocacy-What is it?
Victim advocates are professionals trained to support sexual assault survivors through the aftermath of a sexual assault. Whether the assault happened an hour ago or 25 years ago, advocates can offer victims information, emotional support, and help finding resources. At the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, we provide a wide range of advocacy services.
As a survivor of sexual violence, you deserve advocates who will listen to you with compassion. We will listen, and we will believe you. With your permission, your guidance, we will offer all appropriate support. Please remember. You control all of our advocacy services. You’re in charge. Completely. Always.
If you were recently assaulted and you want to make sure you have the appropriate health care you need after an assault, advocates can help you through that.
Whenever a survivor checks into one of the hospitals and requests a sexual assault forensic exam, an advocate is called out to respond. We do not work for the police and we do not work for the hospital. Advocates are there to support the survivor through their time at the hospital. We can answer questions, find resources, listen, and safety plan. Advocates can also be there, at your request, for any follow up medical care you might need.
If it is 3 A.M. and you need someone to talk to relating to sexual violence you or a loved one experienced, you can call an advocate.
The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center crisis hotline operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. We respond to calls related to sexual violence. You can call us anytime. Every call is answered by a live person. We do route our crisis line through an answering service, so you will be asked to hold for a short period while the operator connects you with a trained advocate. You can call and ask questions, explore options, or just talk through what you need to.
If you are meeting with a detective, testifying in court, or need a protection order, you can call an advocate.
WASAC has 3 full time court advocates. Their primary job responsibilities include assisting and accompanying survivors as they navigate the entire criminal justice system and protection order process. From a police interview to a jury trial, our court advocates can be with you every step of the way.
If you would like to sit down and meet with an advocate one-on-one but you have problems with transportation or other barriers that make it difficult to come in to the office, you can call an advocate.
WASAC has several outreach advocates who specifically provide services to underserved populations in Sedgwick County. We have an outreach advocate that reaches the Spanish-speaking community, people in poverty, people with addictions or who are in recovery, college and university students, the LGBTQ community, people who are incarcerated, and children and youth. Even if you do not fall into any of those categories, you can still call and schedule a time to meet with an outreach advocate. We can meet survivors in a public place that is convenient and safe for you.
If you want information about support groups, therapists who specialize in treating trauma, or strategies for coping, you can call an advocate.
Should you need assistance lying outside the scope of our expertise, we will recommend support services elsewhere in the community. The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center advocates will support you at any time, at any place in your healing process. Advocates are not here to tell you what to do. We are here to support your decision-making process and to make sure you have all the options available to you. You know what is best for you. You know what is best for your safety and healing. We are committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of confidentiality.