We Understand that fleeing the cycle of abuse can very complex and also very dangerous, and it requires different kinds of support. We have created the Advocate Portal so that you can understand the many roles of an Advocate and the support you
can receive as you seek to flee to be free.
Here in the Advocate Portal you can explore some of the many areas of supportive services that Advocates can provide such as crisis intervention, trauma-informed care and follow up services to survivors and their families in their journey to freedom and self sufficiency.
A: Anyone in a domestic abuse situation can access help by always calling 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger. You may also calling a 24 Hour Crisis Hotline , which are a gateway for Survivors who are experiencing abuse, unsure if what you're going through is abuse, if you are wanting to leave and don't know what to do, or how to flee. All calls are confidential and answered by trained , mandated reporting Advocates who are ready and available to answer your call day and night. You may also access other online emergency resources such as our SafeHousingNow mobile app to access immediate emergency shelter in your local area. Remember, you are not alone and all these resources are safe spaces for Survivors who are seeking to flee to be free.
A: When you arrive you will be welcomed by an in-house shelter Advocate who will conduct a "needs" assessment , provide you a tour of the shelters common shared areas such as kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, etc, and your assigned living space. The shelter Advocate will help you settle in and make sure you are provided any necessary items based off of your initial needs assessment( clothes, toiletries, diapers, etc) to ensure you experience a comfortable stay.
A: A Safety Plan is a simple but very important way to ensure your journey to fleeing to be free. By reaching out to a 24 hour crisis hotline, you will access a trained Advocate who can help you and /or your family put together a safety plan that is tailored to your specific situation.
A: All Safety plans are tailored to each Survivors situation. Here are some General Safety Planning Tips:
Choose a safe unfamilar place/location that your abuser does not know about. Reherse all possible escape routes such as doors, elevators, windows, etc. Memorize all important phone numbers Pack a Survival Backpack/Kit to include the following: Cash Money, birth certificate(s), drivers license, passport(s), Insurance cards( medical and vehicle), medications, any legal documents( assets, banking, court orders), a change of clothes, copies of keys to your house and vehicle. Remember, to conceal your Survival backpack/kit where your abuser cannot locate it but always make it easily accessible to you. Update, Review and Practice your safety escape as often as needed. You are not Alone, you will get through this and we are here for you.
A: The advocate role will also assist you in providing you with the required paperwork, helping you complete and assit with the instructions on how to file legal documents to file for a Temporary Restraining Order(TRO). A Temporary Restraining Order is an effective tool in helping you stay safe. It is a legal document that orders a batterer to stay a certain distance from you, to stop all contact and harassment. You may also request in your order that you have temporary custody of your children(if children are involved). Also, if you live with your batterer and you want them to move out, you can request that in your TRO application. If and once the judge grants you the TRO, it will be effective for 1 to 5 years or more.
A: Upon your request, Advocates are also available to accompany you to court/legal proceedings. The Advocate will stay by your side during your hearing, to provide you emotional support and encouragement. The advocate is not allowed to speak on your behalf nor give legal advice but they are there to help you stay focused and empowered. Remember, you are not alone and you will get through this as you seek to flee to be free.
Legal Services offered to Survivors are free and accessible in the following areas: child custody TROs (Temporary Restraining Order), RO (Restraining Order), PO(Protective Order), Immigration matters, unemployment compensation, financial and/or housing issues, and other limited related issues.
Professional counseling is provided to victims of domestic violence. through varies methods such as:Individual and group counseling is available for men, women, teens and children. Crisis intervention, crisis counseling and assessments are provided to those seeking support.
Most shelters will provide transportation to and from supportive services, appointments , or to other long term housing facilities if needed.
Generally, every shelter will have advocates onsite who are there to assess and assist every Survivor with information and resources according to your needs. They are also mandated reporters of child abuse, so it your responsibility to supervise and care for your children at all times.
Earn of the various ways onsite advocates within a shelter can assist you by providing an assessment to help you achieve your employment/career goals which will create a life of sustainability and self-sufficiency for yourself and your family.
Most shelters have advocates who will a help you learn about all your health plan options including: Medicaid, Employer-Sponsored Insurance, Marketplace Insurance, Other government programs, The Affordable Care Act