Suffering from domestic violence is scary, debilitating, and isolating. A victim will often be afraid to tell anyone about their situation, even a professional. Abusers are known to threaten their victim with further abuse if they tell anyone; it’s also common for them to separate the victim from family and friends – those who love them and will notice that things are not okay.
What an abuse victim needs to know, however, is that gaining the support of a professional such as a domestic violence advocate is the first step towards stopping the cycle of abuse. Let’s talk about the ways a domestic violence advocate can help.
What Is A Domestic Violence Advocate And What Do They Do?
A domestic violence advocate is a professional who can provide vital support to victims of domestic violence.
- Domestic violence advocates are often on call to provide support as needed and help victims make crucial decisions in the legal and recovery process.
- An advocate can provide access to helpful services such as:
- Counseling resources and support groups
- Information about legal rights/support in court
- Medical care for physical and psychological recovery
- Economic and job assistance
- Safe and accessible housing
- Help with compensation applications
- Assistance in communicating with lawyers, family, and employers
- An advocate works with victims whether or not those victims have reported a crime. They may be found through shelters, hotlines, or nonprofit organizations. Community advocates’ only job is to help the victim through recovery and keep all information confidential.
- A court advocate works with victims navigating the criminal justice system and may be stationed in police departments or law offices. Their job is to help the victim understand their legal rights and case status, and they are obligated to share necessary information with their agency or office.
How Can A Domestic Violence Advocate Help Me Get Out Of The Abuse Cycle?
Someone who has chosen the field of domestic violence advocacy is trained to help you get out of the abuse cycle and dedicated to walking with you through the necessary steps. They will listen to you and support your decisions, and they will not blame you.
They will help you:
- Create a safety plan
- Navigate law enforcement
- Arrange for shelter
- Get information and referrals to local resources
- Advocate for you through the judicial system
- Set up regular counseling
- Connect with a support group
Here at Bridges Domestic Violence Center, we understand that leaving an abusive situation can be complicated, difficult, and dangerous. Through our team of highly-skilled domestic violence advocates, we ensure safe emergency shelter, as well as resources that support your long-term goals of healing, safety, and self-sufficiency for you and your loved ones.
We are a member agency of United Way of Greater Nashville.