Victim Advocacy and Education

Helping crime and sexual assault victims regain their power

If you have been a victim of sexual assault or another crime, we are here for you.  We help children, adults and elders.  Our goal is to help crime victims and loved ones regain their personal power.

We support people on the worst days of their lives and in their darkest hours. Survivors are believed, supported and connected to the services and benefits they are entitled to. We strive to reduce the effects of trauma on the survivor and on our community.

We work with anyone who identifies as a crime victim. There are no legal burdens for victimization to be met. Services are free and available to anyone. We have a Spanish-speaking advocate available and other language needs can be met through a free interpreter service.

As a Trauma-Informed Care organization, Lutheran Community Services Northwest strives to ensure that individuals of all ages have timely access to services from knowledgeable caring providers. To provide culturally appropriate behavioral healthcare and related services, our experienced staff seek to understand each person’s unique situation, and then develop a plan to assist individuals on their path to wellness through counseling and skill building.

We educate the community about the effects of crime victimization and sexual violence. We advocate for victims’ rights in the community and we advocate for individual victims and their loved ones on a personal level.

Some of the types of crime we can help with include:

  • assault
  • harassment
  • bullying
  • elder or parental abuse
  • sexual violence/assault of any kind
  • property crimes
  • sexual exploitation
  • child sexual abuse
  • child physical abuse
  • burglary
  • arson
  • hate crimes
  • kidnapping
  • terrorism
  • mass violence
  • vehicular assault
  • DUI/DWI crash
  • homicide/attempted homicide
  • robbery
  • sexual harassment
  • human trafficking

Sexual Assault 24-hour Crisis Line: 509-624-7273

If you have been a victim of sexual violence, please call 509-624-7273 any time. Your confidential call will be answered 24 hours a day/ seven days per week.  You may also text the crisis line during business hours (Monday-Thursday 8:00am-5:00pm, Friday 8:30am-3:00pm).

Safety, privacy and texting the Hotline

Your privacy and safety are very important to us. The text hotline provides confidential, one-on-one crisis support. You can chat with a certified victim advocate who will provide you with information and referrals through a secure texting/ instant messenger format, or simply offer a safe place to talk about what happened.

Please make sure you are in a safe place and that you are using a secure device and/or internet connection. Please note that while we have taken numerous measures to keep your communications safe while using our site, no internet or text transmission is 100%  secure.

Texting the hotline reveals your phone number.

Please check out this link for more information about safety and technology: https://techsafetyapp.org/home

Is safety guaranteed?

Technology is a powerful tool to help survivors stay connected and safe. Technology can also be used as a tool to harm, monitor or abuse, especially in cases of domestic violence and stalking. The text hotline cannot entirely eliminate risk. We believe that we’ve done all we can to greatly minimize the risks. Read below for ways to help us protect your privacy and safety.

What can I do to make it safer?
  • Text or call from a safe location and secure device and internet connection your conversation cannot be monitored from.

  • Do not reveal identifying information during your conversation.

  • Delete your internet, text or call history

During your chat, you do not have to share any personal information like your age, name or where you live. We also recommend that you not record or store any sessions in order to protect your privacy. Once you have finished your text session, it is important that you take steps to delete the text history and clean your device’s cache and history, then erase the cookies on your computer or mobile device. This lessens the risk of anyone from going into your computer or device and checking up on your internet activity.

Check out these helpful websites for more safety planning about technology:

https://www.techsafety.org/resources-survivors/technology-safety-plan

https://www.techsafety.org/resources-survivors

https://www.techsafety.org/iphoneguide

https://www.techsafety.org/12tipscellphones

https://techsafetyapp.org/home

What are we doing to make it safer?

Our advocates use a third party platform to message you. Advocates use this software during business hours from our office computers on a secure network. Though information such as the phone number you are texting us from will be visible, we do not store your contact information and delete chat conversations after they are finished.

Times when we cannot keep your texts confidential:

There are times that we may be required to break our confidentiality with you.

Victim advocates must report abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult or person age 17 or younger. Advocates must also disclose identifying information if we believe a person is in immediate danger to themselves or to others. For example, when a person texts the advocate that they have a plan to complete suicide or a plan to hurt someone else. In these circumstances we must report to law enforcement or a governmental agency the identifying information of the person who is being harmed or in danger of harm, as well as the information we have about the situation.

If you have concerns about mandated reporting, our advocates will be happy to give you more information.

Washington State Crime Victim Crisis Line: 888-288-9221

 

Seek Then Speak is a digital aid that helps sexual assault victims anonymously gather information, make decisions, and take action.

By guiding you through a series of questions, you can figure out what options are right for you. You can get in touch with victim services, who can help you through this process, and you can even start reporting to authorities, if you choose to. It’s available on your desktop, mobile phone, even a landline.

You are in control of the information you share, who you share it with, and what you want to happen with it.

Medical

We are here to help sexual assault and other crime victims with their medical needs. Our services include:

  • Information about medical care/concerns, including assistance with needed follow up
  • Assistance in making informed decisions about medical care
  • Support at medical exams and appointments
  • Sexual assault nurse examiner services

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Healing

We are here to help sexual assault and other crime victims heal. Our services include:

  • Crisis intervention and stabilization related to victimization
  • Information about the effects of victimization
  • Personal support related to victimization, and arranging services to enhance healing/recovery
  • Psycho-educational support groups (sexual violence survivors and their non-offending caregivers only)

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We are here to help crime and sexual assault victims navigate our legal system.  We work with victims to reduce the trauma of dealing with our legal system.

Our services Include:

  • Assistance in making informed decisions about reporting
  • Information about criminal justice systems, civil remedies and dependency
  • Assistance in obtaining crime victim compensation benefits, civil remedies and dependency
  • Assistance in preparing for court and support at interviews, trials and sentencings
  • Information about victim rights in a legal setting
  • Assistance with civil orders of protection

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Education & Outreach

The best way to stop sexual abuse and violent trauma is through education, prevention and awareness.  Our education and outreach services include:

  • Advocating for victim rights in different systems and at community events
  • Helping to create system change for the benefit of crime victims
  • Sexual Violence prevention education
  • Community education and training about the effects of crime victimization
  • Outreach to victims at various community locations
  • Organizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Valentine’s Day and National Crime Victim’s Rights Week activities

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Volunteer

We need dedicated Crisis Response Advocate volunteers. Volunteers are vital to the success of our advocacy programs, and make it possible to staff our Sexual Assault Crisis line 24 hours/ seven days per week. Please contact our Spokane office if you are interested in volunteering.

As a Crisis Response Advocate you will provide phone assistance and accompany victims of sexual assault and other crimes during exams at Spokane area hospitals. You will provide crisis intervention, support, referrals and information to survivors of sexual assault and other crimes, their families and loved ones. To learn more about volunteering, please click here.

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Crisis Response Advocates Needed

Volunteers are vital to the success of our advocacy programs, and make it possible to staff our Sexual Assault Crisis line 24 hours/ seven days per week.

Free training provided with flexible shifts answering the crisis line.

Seek Then Speak

A New Means for Victims to Access Services.

Putting you in the driver’s seat to get help for yourself, or someone you know, after sexual assault.

Help victims of sexual assault.
Host a clothing drive.

Restore dignity for survivors of sexual assault leaving the hospital. Make an easy purchase of new clothing & undergarments for survivors who surrender their clothing as evidence.

Need more information?

Contact an office offering this program

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