medical advocacy

responsibilities:

  • arrive at the hospital or law enforcement center within 30 minutes of the call
  • introduce self to er staff
  • determine victim's desire to meet and talk with the advocate
  • discuss medical procedures and options with the victim
  • offer to remain with victim during evidence collection and exam
  • offer to call or meet with significant others if victim is okay with it
  • explain emotional and physical reactions the victim may experience as a result of the assault
  • provide informational packet to victim
  • provide clothing for victim if needed
  • inform victim that the gs victim advocate will follow up with them within 4 hours
  • maintain confidentiality
  • because of the victim's confidentiality, the advocate is not present during the police officer's interview

legal advocacy

after a police report has been made, the legal advocate provides information and emotional support for victims with the police and the state's attorney throughout the court process. she is the liaison between the victim and the legal system. she will explain the criminal justice process, sexual assault laws, and victim's rights statutes to the victim. she will assist the victim in filing for crime victims compensation, ensure that the victim is treated in a fair and respectful manner by the criminal justice personnel and keep the victim informed about key dates and stages in the criminal justice processing of the case. advocating with other systems can be a difficult process, since other institutions have objectives that go beyond solely supporting the victim.

saseta; sexual assault emergency treatment act

saseta mandates that patients receiving services in the emergency room for sexual victimization should never receive a bill for any hospital charges, medication, emergency
ambulance transportation or follow-up exam to check for std's, pregnancy or other complications as a result of the assault.

patient file should be coded as a sexual assault crime victim by the er staff to alert the billing department.

a couple of really important laws that have to be followed when at a hospital call are:

  • the sexual assault victim is the only one that can authorize a rape kit to be done
  • if the victim does not want one done, no one can force them to do one
  • they are the only one that can sign the release of the kit
  • for a minor under the age of 13, a parent, guardian, law enforcement officer or a dcfs representative may release the kit to law enforcement
  • if the victim is 13 or above, only that victim may release the kit. the law does not permit the parent of that victim who is 13 or older or anyone else to override the minor's decision

civil no contact order

  • the cnco is a court order that requires a sex offender to stay away from the person he sexually assaulted or sexually abused.
  • the cnco became effective january 1, 2004
  • any person, regardless of age, who has been sexually touched in a way that she or he did not agree to can file for a cnco.
  • a cnco is enforced like an order of protection.
  • it is a remedy for people who did not have a relationship with the offender.
  • our office personnel can help you fill out a cnco, or you may go to the circuit clerk's office and ask for the forms. the forms will need to be filled out and then given to the circuit clerk to file them with the court.
  • for more information on cnco's feel free to contact our office.

"you can change your beliefs so they empower your dreams and desires. create a strong belief in yourself and what you want."
- marcia wieder