Victims of sexual assault have access to crisis counseling at any time of the day or night, either by calling the DVSAC crisis line (272-3467) or coming to the DVSAC office during business hours – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. A crisis counselor will also meet with the victim at other locations including the emergency room, medical offices, schools or with law enforcement. During the immediate crisis phase, the counselor will provide comfort and support, staying with the victim to advocate where necessary, help her with immediate needs including clothing, food, accommodation, and provide information about future options.
SART stands for Sexual Assault Response Team. If a rape is reported within 72 hours of its occurrence, an evidentiary examination may be performed if the victim agrees. The SART team of specially trained medical personnel, law enforcement and a counseling advocate work together to help the victim through this exam in the least traumatic way possible. DVSAC has several trained SART advocates who will accompany and support the victim through his or her statement and exam, and explain the procedures involved.
DVSAC will accompany victims through the court process and connect them with support systems such as the Nevada County Victim Witness. If the situation requires a temporary restraining order, DVSAC staff can assist the victim to obtain one. For cases of rape and statutory rape, a Vertical Prosecution system is in place in Nevada County. This means the same prosecution and support team – including the DVSAC advocate – stays with the victim until the case is concluded.
Accompaniment and Advocacy
DVSAC counselors and advocates will accompany the victim through meetings or procedures related to their sexual assault. They are willing to act as an advocate for them where necessary and appropriate.
Clients may qualify for 5-10 free, individual counseling sessions by a licensed therapist. Counseling is available whether the sexual assault occurred recently, or at some time in the victim’s past. Services include counseling to adults molested as children. Counseling is also available to partners, parents, and other family members affected by the assault. Referrals for therapy must first be made through a DVSAC crisis counselor and then approved by the Program Director.