Reminder: One-to-one conversations and meetings between a New Beginnings advocate and a survivor are protected by confidentiality. They will not be shared (including to confirm or deny use of services) with immigration authorities, medical personnel, law enforcement, or any other third party without explicit written consent (except in cases involving the suspected abuse/neglect of a child, elder or incapacitated adult, or when it is determined someone is a threat to themselves/others).
At the Hospital
New Beginnings advocates are called by Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital to meet victims of sexual assault at the emergency room. At the hospital, advocates can offer compassionate information and support. This includes discussing options surrounding reporting a sexual assault to law-enforcement, and deciding whether or not to undergo a forensic sexual assault exam to collect evidence from the assault. Click Here to Read More About What to Expect at the Hospital and The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam.
Advocates may accompany the survivor during any medical and forensic examination related to the assault. It is at the discretion of the victim how long, and for what procedures an advocate remains present. As an agency, New Beginnings respects survivors’ autonomy and right to deny or request any services.
There are 4 main reasons to seek medical attention following a sexual assault:
- To determine if you have been injured in any way. Following an assault, the survivor is frequently in a state of shock and may be totally unaware of any injuries.
- To take the first step towards regaining control of your life.
- To be tested for and to discuss treatment and prevention options available in regards to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
- To collect medical evidence for possible further prosecution if and when a suspect is caught. It is vital that this evidence be collected as soon as possible. It will be destroyed as time passes and you begin to resume everyday activities (eating, drinking, urinating, bathing, etc.)*
Take time to concentrate on yourself and your health. You are the survivor of a sexual assault and you have the right to whatever medical treatment you need.
*From National Sexual Assault Resource Center TAASA’s “Survivor’s Booklet”
New Beginnings offers support to all survivors of intimate partner violence seeking medical assistance. If seeking medical attention for injuries related to a physical or sexual assault, or mental/emotional distress caused by a partner, please request the support of an advocate from New Beginnings. Advocates are able to meet survivors at the hospital, doctor’s offices, or mental health care provider’s offices. If you would like to arrange a one-to-one meeting with an advocate, please call the New Beginnings office at: (603) 528-6511.
At the Police Station
If survivors need assistance calling for help or for in-person support at the police department, advocates are available 24/7. Reporting crimes to law enforcement and seeking assistance from the police can be scary and confusing. Advocates accompany survivors in going to their local police station to speak with an officer about safety concerns and to file reports of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.