Victim Support and Advocacy
Children who are sexually abused often feel alone and confused. They face a system that wasn’t designed for their needs, with court appearances, medical appointments, and more. Families of abused children can also feel bewildered by the system’s response.
That’s where our Victim Advocates come in. Each child who comes to the Children’s Alliance is assigned a caring, experienced Victim Advocate who will walk their non-offending caregiver through the process.
While the child is talking with one of our Forensic Interviewers, the non-offending caregiver meets with the child’s Victim Advocate, who assesses the family’s needs, provides crisis counseling and education about the investigative process, and offers referrals for medical or mental health attention and support groups.
If the case goes to court, the Victim Advocate will provide a one-stop point of contact for the family during the court process, which can last many months, or even several years. The Victim Advocate will accompany the child to court, sometimes providing the only friendly face in the courtroom, and will continue to monitor the case, provide referrals, and answer questions for the child and their non-offending caregiver. The Victim Advocate is always just a phone call away.
As part of our Victim Advocacy Program, the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance offers a support group for Non-Offending Caregivers and a self-esteem group for children.
QUOTES FROM VICTIM ADVOCATES
“Some parents come in to PCA with an array of negative emotions but after talking to a Victim Advocate, they are comfortable, open, and more at ease about the process and situation.”
“Our victim advocates support the children and their families by providing them with a voice advocating on their behalf for resources, services, and case outcomes.”
“A 6 year old victim child was sexually abused by an older boy in his neighborhood. Both attended the same school. The victim child saw his perpetrator every day at school. This upset the child very badly and he did not want to go to school. Mom tried to get victim child transferred to another school but the school district refused. The victim advocate wrote a letter to the principal of the school and the child was transferred to another school outside his district. The child loves his new school; he felt safe again and now looks forward to going to school each and every morning!”