Rape and Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy

Photo by Alesha Sevy-Kelley Photo by Alesha Sevy-Kelley

If you have been a victim or rape or sexual assault, it is important for you to know and understand that regardless of the circumstances, the crime is not your fault. You are not alone, and we believe you!

DOVE Center offers a full range of rape recovery programs to survivors of sexual assault and rape. We assist both primary survivors (the individuals against whom the crime was committed) and secondary survivors (partners, spouses, family members, and loved ones of the primary survivor). It is often helpful for those close to the primary survivor, particularly if they are intimate partners or a close family member, to understand how these crimes impact and traumatize their loved one. Secondary survivors might be primary support people for a rape or sexual assault victim, and their wellbeing might impact the ability of a primary survivor to heal in their own personal way. But secondary survivors need to heal, too. There is a lot of confusion associated with these crimes, and our trauma-informed counselors can help you work through it to find peace, hope, empowerment and healing. Rape recovery programs and services are available to any survivor of sexual assault, including marital rape or date rape, and adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

DOVE Center has a team of rape recovery advocates who assist victims while they are receiving care at the hospital (see more info in Medical Advocacy). A member of the team is always on call and will respond to the hospital day or night, 24-hours a day. Rape recovery advocates provide technical assistance, emotional support, a safe place to talk, and additional resources to help victims as they face uncertanty and confusion because of their assault. Advocates also help connect victims to trauma-informed counseling and appropriate therapy groups.

The effects of rape and sexual assault can be long lasting and significant. DOVE advocates and counselors are available to walk with you through the uncertainty you are experiencing. Counseling and other services will help you learn about how trauma affects the brain and body, how to deal with triggers, and other tools for safety and empowerment. Understanding trauma is essential to healing and will help you regain control over your life.