Advocacy is available to you 24 hours a day – 7 days a week by calling VOICe’s hotline. 1-800-400-8551.
What is Medical Advocacy?
Victim Outreach Intervention Center offers medical advocacy to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and other crimes. A VOICe staff member will provide accompaniment for a survivor at Butler Memorial Hospital, UPMC-Passavant Cranberry, Slippery Rock University Health Center or a private healthcare facility upon the request of the survivor/healthcare provider. Hospital personnel and healthcare professionals can access VOICe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-400-8551. All VOICe services are free and confidential.
The Role of the Medical Advocate
VOICe Medical Advocates are available to provide support, assistance and information to the survivor, such as counseling services, safety, emergency shelter, legal options and accompaniment for follow-up medical and related appointments. With the survivor’s permission, the Advocate is present during the interview and examination. In Pennsylvania, all communications between the Advocate and survivor are confidential, protected under statute 42 PA CSA 5495.1.
VOICe’s Medical Advocacy Program also provides free trainings and educational opportunities to healthcare professionals in both private and public health settings in Butler County. Healthcare providers can provide a critical link to safety by offering support, information, education, resources, referrals and follow-up services to patients who are identified as survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and other crimes.
What is Legal Advocacy?
A Legal Advocate from VOICe can be with you BEFORE the court process begins. By doing so, the advocate can help prepare you for court through the explanation of legal procedures, emotional support and victim advocacy.
For example, a VOICe Advocate can:
- Be with you if you need to go to the police department.
- Be with you throughout the Protection From Abuse (PFA) process.
- Be with you at preliminary hearings at District Magistrate offices.
- Be a liaison with the District Attorney’s office, County Detective and the Victim Witness office.
- Be with you at trials, sentencing or any other court proceedings.