Advocates are powerful people. We do many things and fill many roles for survivors. We are the comforting presence in times of crisis, fierce guardians for people’s rights, guides through the healing process after violence, and agents of transformation in our communities.But advocates sometimes doubt themselves and get lost in the ever-shifting work of responding to sexual violence. This is especially true for those of us who work in dual/multi-service agencies, where we provide domestic violence and sexual violence services, and maybe services beyond that.
This guide is meant to help you find your way through this difficult and amazing work. It describes ten attributes or skills that are essential to dual advocates working with sexual violence survivors. It offers activities, exercises, and questions to help you practice skills and explore new areas of your advocacy practice.
This second edition includes updated best practices, new resources, quotes from real advocates, and examples from rural programs across the country.
Tips for Advocacy Programs
This guide for advocates is meant to help you find your way through the difficult and amazing work of serving survivors of sexual violence. It describes ten attributes or skills that are essential for advocates to learn. It offers activities, exercises, and questions to help you practice skills and explore new areas of your advocacy practice. Together with Opening Our Doors: Building Strong Sexual Assault Services in Dual/Multi-Service Advocacy Agencies, we hope this guide helps in three ways: 1. To help set a plan for personal learning and growth. 2. As a reminder of what you know and the skills you have in those moments of doubt and confusion we all have. 3. Teams can use it to map out training, policies, and strategies for expanding sexual assault services.
Tips for Coalitions
Coalitions are one of the main sources of training for advocacy programs in their state or territory. This guide describes ten attributes or skills that are essential for advocates serving survivors of sexual violence to learn and offers activities, exercises, and questions that, with some modifications, coalitions can use to help train new advocates.
Tips for Administrators
SASP administrators can fund skill-building training on providing sexual assault advocacy services for advocacy program staff (volunteer or employee) who will provide specific SASP-funded services. This guide describes ten attributes or skills that are essential for advocates serving survivors of sexual violence to learn and offers a framework for explaining the unique role that advocates play in supporting survivors in their healing. You can recommend that programs and the coalition in your state or territory use this in their new advocate training.