Adolescents between the ages of 13 to 17 in DC who have been sexually assaulted have rights under DC law, one of which is the right to an advocate. Safe Shores Teen Advocates are there to help teens understand all of their options and support them in whatever choice they make. Some of the support a Teen Advocate can provide include referrals to medical care, mental health care, or legal support. Teen Advocates are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to the teen’s emergency needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Youth Advocacy
What Do Safe Shores Youth Advocacy Specialists Do?
Teens have the right to have an advocate with them during moments that might feel scary or confusing. An advocate can provide information, options, referrals, safety planning, and emotional support. The advocate can provide support and information over the phone if a teen is unsure what steps they want to take.
If a teen reports the assault to law enforcement and needs to be interviewed, they can choose to have their advocate with them. If a teen wants to get care or treatment at a hospital, they can choose to have their advocate with them to provide support during the process.
How Can Teens Get Connected to a Youth Advocacy Specialist?
Teens can request an advocate on their own by calling or texting 844-443-5732 or chatting through the DC Victim Hotline. The DC Victim Hotline will get teens connected to an advocate at Safe Shores.
If an assault has been reported to law enforcement, or if a teen seeks medical care related to a sexual assault at a hospital, the teen will be offered an advocate by law enforcement or medical professionals.
What If a Teen Declines a Youth Advocacy Specialist, But Then Changes Their Mind?
The right to an advocate is not a one-time thing, so even if a teen does not want an advocate the first time they are offered one, they can request an advocate at any time.
DC Sexual Assault Response Team and Survivor Feedback
Safe Shores Teen Advocates are part of the DC Sexual Assault Response Team, which also includes medical professionals, law enforcement professionals, child welfare professionals, and legal professionals.
Teens who have experienced sexual assault have the option to provide feedback about their experience with any member of the Sexual Assault Response Team through this Survivor Feedback Form or use following QR code to open it on your smartphone.