Advocates give support to sexual assault victims

By Teri Vance
From the moment victims report a sexual assault in Carson City, they are assigned an advocate
to help them through the legal process and to recover emotionally.
“We are the one constant with the victim,” said Traci Trenoweth, the Sexual Assault Response
Advocate coordinator for Advocates to End Domestic Violence. “We are with them from
beginning to end.”
Advocates, which is partially funded through grants from Partnership Carson City, learn of
victims when they report either to the police, hospital or through the hotline.
Two advocates respond to each report. One works with the victim and the other with the victim’s
support system.
“If their family or friends are there, they have just as many questions,” Trenoweth said. “They
want to help the victim as much as possible.”
Trenoweth said advocates responded to 83 calls last year, representing all groups in society.
“It’s a myth that sexual assaults are committed by strangers,” she said. “We see victims from
every economic background, every race. We see kids, teenagers, adults and seniors.”
Advocates help the victims through every step of the process, from filling out the police report,
to the physical exam to the court proceedings — in addition to the advocate assigned by the
district attorney.
“It’s important for them to know they have support as they tell their story in court,” Trenoweth
said.
A special room and nurses are assigned specifically to perform the sexual assault exam, a
process made possible through Carson City’s Sexual Assault Response Team, made up of a
coalition of city agencies.
Advocates also helps victims apply for funding for counseling or other aftercare if needed.
“They are only victims for a moment,” Trenoweth said. “After that, they become survivors. We
help them get there.”
HOTLINE
Victims may call the Advocates to End Domestic Violence hotline 24 hours any day of the week
at (775) 883-7654.
2017-06-16T15:05:05+00:00April 6th, 2017|Community, News|