Medical / Legal Advocacy

The Advocate department presently consists of four 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 relationahip, 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

 

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.

“Then, after a few days when I started to get used to my new home, staff members offered me services and took me around town. They helped me do things such as file a PFA – a protection from abuse order, sign up for welfare and child support and even obtain a lawyer.”