Medical / Legal Advocacy

VICTIM ADVOCACY PROGRAM:

The Victim Advocate department presently consists of five advocates who provide accompaniment and support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, juvenile crimes, any crime against the elderly and all other violent crimes, through the legal system. Each advocate specializes in a specific area, but all are cross-trained.

Services provided:

~~Assistance filing a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or persons who you have a child in common with.

  • Who can file?  An adult or minor (a parent or guardian must file on behalf of a minor) who is being physically or sexually abused or threatened with harm by:
    ~~someone related by blood or marriage
    ~~a current or former sexual or intimate partner
  • PFA’s CANNOT be filed against neighbors, friends, employers, etc…this is a case for law enforcement and a PFA does not apply here

~~Court Accompaniment

  • An advocate may go with you to all criminal court and Protection From Abuse hearings to provide support.

~~Court preparation 

  • An advocate will explain everything that you will have to do while going through the court system.

~~Safety planning

  • Safety planning for someone involved in an abusive relationship is a necessary and important step.  Planning can be used while you are still with your abuser or after the relationship has ended.  While still in an abusive relationship, your safety is of primary importance.

Other services provided:

  • Information on what your rights and responsibilities are as a victim
  • Information on, and assistance with, filing victim’s compensation
  • On call 24/7 to hospitals and the police station for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault
  • Information and referrals to other agencies
  • Training to law enforcement

MEDICAL ADVOCACY PROGRAM:

  • Provides ongoing education regarding new and developing medical information as it relates to domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Provides support and education to medical facilities and professionals in the county to help them identify possible victims and provide referrals, support and education.
  • Provides informational resources in medical facilities such as brochures, posters, pamphlets, cards and table displays.
  • Provides prenatal screening for domestic violence victims on the risk factors during the first and last trimester of pregnancy with community health partners.
  • Provides training to medical students, medical professionals and other healthcare related professionals.
  • Coordinates quarterly meetings of a medical advocacy task force composed of professionals from the county to identify gaps and training needs as related to domestic violence and sexual assault in the medical field.

The Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County empowers and advocates for those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes.  We inspire and educate citizens to create safer communities and break the cycle of violence.

“I enrolled back in college and have been named to the Dean’s List each semester. I am working toward a degree in Social Work, so that one day I can look into the teary eyes of a broken woman and tell her without hesitation that she can have the life she dreams about; she can live without fear; she can find the strength to do it, because I too, was once a teary-eyed, broken woman who found help at the Crisis Shelter.”