INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new designation will give The Julian Center a 24-hour on-call advocate for sexual assault victims and puts an advocate in the hospital to provide a victim with immediate and appropriate support.
The designation creates a partnership with the Centers of Hope at several area hospitals and an advocate at The Julian Center. When a victim of sexual assault arrives at a hospital, the nurse can call The Julian Center and an advocate will be dispatched to the hospital.
The advocate can provide a variety of support, and allows the nurse to perform the sexual assault forensic exam and other medical practices.
“Survivors of sexual assault shouldn’t have to make the first effort to get help," said The Julian Center president and CEO, Catherine O'Connor. "We want to be there for them as quickly as possible to help them begin to heal."
Advocates have begun providing the new services since the start of April.
“The majority of patients going through these circumstances are very overwhelmed," said Jena Lane, a sexual assault nurse examiner at Eskenazi Health. "Just to have another person there to support them to support them through the whole process is very exciting for us."
Advocates also will make survivors aware of services available at The Julian Center, including individual and family counseling, education, employment readiness, and support. If needed, advocates will help survivors find immediate shelter and coordinate care at The Julian Center.
To receive the state designation, The Julian Center had to satisfy the following requirements:
- 24-hour rape crisis hotline
- On-call advocates to respond to hospitals
- Legal service coordination
- System coordination/case management
- Community awareness and outreach efforts
- Support groups
- Professional counseling/therapy
- Prevention education