PASAC’s Crisis Response Program provides immediate response to victims of sexual assault in our region. Utilizing our crisis hotline and medical advocacy program, we provide victims who are in crisis access to a supportive, trained advocate with the goals of ensuring that survivors have access to resources and are aware of their legal and medical rights.
24-Hour Crisis Line
Our 24-hour crisis line is a toll-free service available to survivors, as well friends, and family members. Our highly trained advocates provide support and information to callers, can assist in safety planning, and provide community referrals for healthcare, law enforcement, or other needs, as well as providing information about PASAC services.
What to expect when you call the crisis line:
After business hours, calls are routed through an answering service. This means that the first person to answer the phone is not affiliated with PASAC, but will connect your call to an advocate. Advocates receive specialized training in providing these services. Your advocate should begin by introducing themselves and giving you some information about the purpose of our crisis line. You should know that while we can offer crisis counseling and safety planning services, we are not able to provide therapy services over the phone. Advocates can provide information about common symptoms and reactions to trauma, ideas for self-care and positive coping strategies, as well as referral information to help meet other needs you may have. Your advocate can also provide information about PASAC’s services and how to begin treatment at PASAC.
Please note: If you have an emergency that requires immediate assistance from law enforcement or medical personnel, please contact 911.
When a victim of a sexually-based crime presents to any of the hospital emergency rooms in our area for treatment, medical staff are required to notify PASAC immediately. As such, PASAC has trained crisis response advocates on call day and night to provide medical and legal advocacy for victims and to assist family and friends who may be present. Advocates are there to offer support, provide information on the hospital process as well as your medical and legal rights, and to offer follow-up services from PASAC.
What to expect when you go to the emergency room:
Seeking medical attention after a sexual assault may help protect you against injury, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy. Medical exams can also be a way to collect evidence which may be used in investigating, charging, or prosecuting sexual offenders. When victims of sexual violence present at the emergency room, KAR 502 specifies that the ER personnel should call an advocate with the local Rape Crisis Center. For the 5 hospitals in PASAC’s eight-county region (listed below), a PASAC advocate will respond to the emergency room. These advocates are specially trained to provide survivors with support and information about the medical process. Your advocate will also share information with you regarding your rights when it comes to the services you receive in the ER and reporting to law enforcement. In addition, if you would like, your advocate can accompany you during the medical exam as well as during any law enforcement interview. Your PASAC advocate will provide you with an information packet that will provide you with information such as common symptoms and reactions to trauma, crime victim’s compensation information, and information on the services offered at PASAC.
Before visiting the ER:
If you think you may want to have an exam performed for evidence collection, it is recommended that you do not change clothing, shower or bathe, eat or drink, chew gum, or smoke cigarettes. Doing so may lead to evidence being damaged or washed away. In addition, it is important for victims to know that often the clothing they were wearing at the time of the assault may need to be taken for evidence collection. If your clothing is taken as evidence, your advocate will provide you with a comfortable, new change of clothing to wear home.
The following hospitals are located in PASAC’s eight county service region. If you present to an emergency room at one of these 5 hospitals, a PASAC advocate will be called to meet with you.
Baptist Health Paducah
Marshall County Hospital
Murray/Calloway County Hospital
Jackson Purchase Medical Center