Advocating for Survivors, Children, and Families
Advocacy is an act of service and can take many forms. It can mean publicly supporting a particular cause or policy. It can also mean using your voice to speak out about injustice. At Lotus, advocacy means supporting survivors, children, and families and working to create a world free from violence and oppression.
There are many different ways to advocate for survivors, children, and families. Here are four things that advocates do.
- Support and believe victims of child abuse and survivors of sexual violence. The best thing an advocate can do to support a survivor, child, or family is to listen without judgement.
- Bring awareness to issues and policies that help or have potential to harm survivors, children, and families. Advocates use their voice, and empower others to do the same, by voting and urging senators to pass legislation that will improve safety, healing, and justice outcomes for survivors and families.
- Connect survivors, children, and families with the resources they need to hope, heal, and grow. Advocates can save the Lotus 24-Hour Helpline in their contacts to have on hand to share with someone who may need it. The Lotus 24-Hour Helpline offers free, confidential support for survivors of sexual violence, victims of child abuse, and their supportive loved ones.
- Protect survivors and children. Advocates know the signs of abuse and report suspected child abuse by calling DCBS Centralized Intake at (877) 597-2331 or local law enforcement. They also practice bystander intervention by intervening in potentially harmful situations and help to de-escalate the situation.
Advocacy at Lotus
Taylor Daugherty, Access Healing Advocate and Team Lead, says, “our biggest role as advocates is helping survivors and families to feel empowered to meet their own needs and goals.”
Our Lotus team of professional advocates specialize in three areas of support.
- Intake Advocacy: When a survivor or family connects with Lotus, advocates help them identify needs and provide connections to additional resources to ensure needs are met. Advocates help survivors and families practice coping skills and continually check in during their healing process.
- Crisis and Medical Advocacy: When a survivor or family is in immediate need, an advocate provides support. Advocates are available at any time through the Lotus 24-Hour Helpline. Advocates also support survivors who present at the hospital. An advocate will meet the survivor at the hospital, with their consent, to provide information about options and resources.
- Ongoing Support for Survivors, Children, and Families: After a survivor or family connects with Lotus, advocates continue to help them identify needs and ensure needs are met. This includes providing information, preparation, and tools to navigate the justice process through our legal advocacy services.
How You Can Advocate for Survivors, Children, and Families
You can take action as an advocate in the community by learning about policy issues and priorities at the state and national levels and by contacting your legislators.
- Find your legislatorsto view contact information, sponsored legislation, and more.
- Advocate for survivors by visiting Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs’ legislative advocacy page to learn more about efforts to advance policies that support survivors and end sexual violence.
- Learn more about Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kentucky and their work to advance policies that strengthen families and end child abuse and neglect.
You can also be an advocate for survivors, children, and families in the Purchase Area by volunteering and participating in awareness events. We offer many ways for volunteers to support our mission. Fill out a volunteer application today!