Importance of Rape Crisis and Recovery Center Advocates

Hospital advocates or “companions” are either staff or volunteers from the 17 Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers that are member programs of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA). Their experience, specialized training, and access to MCASA member program resources allow them to address a wide range of survivor needs. When advocates/companions provide emotional support for survivors during a forensic exam, Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNE) can more easily maintain an objective stance.

Advocates/companions provide immediate crisis intervention to the survivor and their significant others, allowing the survivor to express themselves and have their feelings validated. Advocates also prepare and assist the survivor with:

  • Understanding the trauma of sexual assault
  • Understanding the legal process
  • Follow-up crisis intervention and on-going counseling
  • Application for victim compensation