Victim Advocacy

Victim Advocacy

Victim Advocacy helps untangle the complex systems, processes, and urgent needs of families

The moment you walk into Sylvia’s CAC the first person you’re likely to meet is your Victim Advocate. Your initial conversation will be relatively quick because most of your interaction with them comes after your forensic interview.

Your Victim Advocate’s job is to help you with any immediate needs you might have when you come to the CAC. If you left your home in a rush and forgot to bring a change of clothes, your Victim Advocate can help. Or, if you’re unsure how to replace a loss of income in the wake of the abuse disclosure, your Victim Advocate can try to help with that, too.

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Here’s what your Victim Advocate will do during and after your visit to the CAC

As a highly trained and experienced member of the team, your Victim Advocate is able to:

  • Listen to you and your non-offending family members, such as other children.
  • Help you understand what comes next, including how forensic interviews and the criminal justice process works.
  • Connect you to counselors, therapists, physicians, and other medical and mental health practitioners.
  • Help you learn about your Indiana Victim Rights, and how to apply for any benefits or compensation that might be available to you.
  • Explain how the Prosecutor’s Office and local law enforcement are proceeding within the bounds and scope of what’s known in the investigation.
  • Help you find attorneys, if necessary, and understand your legal rights and protection options.
  • Find ways to work with your child’s school, your employer, landlord, or other entities that might be able to work with you to help.
A colorful pastel illustration of an adult woman speaking with a pensive teenager.
Teenage girl talking to an adult woman

Your Advocate is there whenever you need them for the life of your case and beyond

Your Victim Advocate is available to you whenever you need them, even months or years after your initial visit to Sylvia’s CAC.

Your Victim Advocate will follow your case through the court system and, in partnership with the Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement, help you know what’s happening including important dates, legal guidelines, and more. They will also help you connect to specialized medical and mental health care.

More about medical and mental health referrals

FAQs about Victim Advocacy at Sylvia’s CAC

Does it cost anything to talk to a Victim Advocate?

No, talking to your Victim Advocate is free regardless of when you come in or call. Like the forensic interview, this service is free and covered by Sylvia’s CAC. They’ll also talk to you about services they refer you to that might not be totally free or covered by insurance, such as a physician or doctor.

Can my Victim Advocate tell me what’s happening in the interview or case?

Possibly, but there are limits. Your Victim Advocate can tell you what the process is like or likely to be, but the interview that happens between the child and forensic interviewer, as well as any information that’s not yet proven by law enforcement or Prosecutors stay within those teams. We do our best to keep you updated with any information as we soon as we know about it.

Is the Victim Advocate a counselor or licensed therapist?

Your Victim Advocate always welcomes you to talk, even if it’s just to vent briefly. But they are not therapists or licensed counselors, so advice is best sought by licensed professionals. Your Victim Advocate can and will connect you to support groups, therapists, counselors, and other qualified practitioners in the area. Talk to them about any insurance benefits you might have to help cover any third-party costs.

Can my Victim Advocate pay me money for immediate needs?

We can’t give cash directly to you, but from time to time based on donations have gas cards to help cover your fuel costs and small funds to help cover co-pays and deductibles. These funds are tight and they come and go as quickly as donations come and go, so talk to your Victim Advocate about any challenges you’re facing so they can try to help.

Can I speak to a Victim Advocate even if my child never receives a forensic interview?

Yes, you’re always welcome to call us at (765) 484-8410 to ask us brief questions. We don’t recommend you email us for privacy reasons unless it’s the only way you can reach us.

Our Victim Advocates can help connect you to places that can help with your situation, but know that our time is generally focused on families who come to the CAC for a forensic interview. You can call 211 in Indiana to speak to a Navigator for more help, too.

Browse dozens of local services around Boone County

Your Victim Advocate can help you find many useful services that fit your needs, location, schedule, and income. But you can also browse our Boone County Services Directory for shelters, food banks, things to do, medical services, therapists, and more.

Browse the Boone County Resource Guide

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