What is advocacy?
It is the act of pleading the cause of another or arguing in favor of an idea or policy. An advocate actively supports, encourages, backs, and promots someone or something. Since 1977, Women's Services has advocated for the needs of women and children in Western Crawford County.
How does Women's Services provide advocacy?
As survivors of domestic violence and sexual assult go through the medical, criminal, and/or civil legal system, advocated from Women's Services provide assistance and support.
Following an incident of violence, victims may need medical attention. Women's Services staff, as advocated,can accompany the victim and family throughout the experience. Advocates provide information about various medical and legal procedures and help assess the victim's future needs for services.
Advocates cannot give legal advice, but can discuss the legal process and provide information that will help survivors make informed decisions about whether to engage in the court process. Advocates are available for accompaniment to legal proceedings. Individuals can also arrange to meet or speak with an advocate outside of court regarding their feelings, the legal process or any other questions they may have. Advocates can tell a person about their legal rights and, if necessary, advocate on that person's behalf with police, prosecutors, and others in the criminal justice system. The top priorities of Women's Services advocates are to support a survivor in whatever decisions are made about engaging with the legal system and to assist the survivor in identifying their rights and options.