What is a court advocate?
The role of a court advocate is to work on behalf of an individual or group of individuals to facilitate the provision of services or other forms of assistance to that individual or group. The common goal in every form of advocacy is to enhance understanding, to pursuade, to advance the clients cause, and to bring about changes which will make the clients situation better.
Legal Advocates for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault can provode a wide array of services to their clients. These services include:
Helping a survivor to identify what her/his goal is in entering the legal arena
Assisting a survivor in assessing her readiness to negotiate the hurdles of the justice system
Enhancing a survivors understanding of what can and cannot be accompished through the use of the legal system
Preparing a survivor for a courtroom experience
Preparing a survivor for potential outcomes of criminal proceedings
Helping survivors identify safety plans, particularly when there are indications that the perpetrator might respond violently to legal intervention