A victim advocate helps those impacted by violence reclaim their sense of safety and healing. Often this is done by providing information, resources and emotional support at a time when the survivor of assault or abuse may feel overwhelmed, scared or hopeless. Having someone to talk to, who believes you, and who can help you get connected to supportive resources can be an important first step in a survivor’s healing process.
Advocates can assist survivors in making informed decisions about their care and help enforce the survivor’s rights if they choose to work with law enforcement, medical professionals or other social service agencies.
The time following a traumatic event can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Advocates are there not only to help those who have been directly affected by the crime but also their family members, friends and loved ones.
Advocates will not make decisions for you. They are a confidential resource who can talk to you about your options and help support the decisions you make about your own care.
Here at PICAA our victim advocates assist all people impacted by crime, regardless of their age or when the offense occurred. Typical crimes we work with are sexual assault/abuse, physical assault, stalking and harassment, trafficking or neglect and endangerment of vulnerable individuals. No matter the crime you are not alone. Call and talk to an advocate today. If you are in a situation where we aren’t the best resource, we will work to connect you with another community agency who can assist.
Some examples of what advocacy can look like include:
- Having a confidential person you can talk to
- Making sure your wishes are heard, respected and upheld during the forensic medical exam or when reporting to law enforcement
- Making your visit to the emergency department or to the PICAA clinic as comfortable as possible
- Working with you to build a safety plan
- Providing phone numbers and addresses for community-based services that may be helpful. This can include phone numbers for mental health services, food banks or shelters
- Helping you fill out and submit your Crime Victim Compensation application
- Being present if you are reporting to law enforcement
- Helping you with a protection order in Snohomish County
- Connecting with law enforcement, child protective services or adult protective services on your behalf
- Going with you to the courthouse during a trial
Please note: Our staff are mandatory reporters. This means we are required to report any known or suspected assault or abuse of someone under the age of 18 and any vulnerable adult experiencing abuse. However, you may choose to call the hotline anonymously, without giving your name or age, to speak with an advocate to get support.