As part of our mission to promote a comprehensive and socially just response for all victims/survivors, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault provides support for advocates who provide direct services to victims of sexual violence.
MNCASA member organizations perform advocacy in a variety of ways. Advocates assist victims/survivors in the healing process, make referrals to appropriate supportive services, provide opportunities to connect with other survivors, and serve as a confidential resource to talk with throughout all stages of sexual violence response and recovery.
We support advocates through technical assistance including, trainings, resources, sharing of information, expertise, and making connections.
- 40 Hour Training
- Train the Trainer
What is an advocate?
An advocate, in accordance with the Minnesota State Statute §595.02(k), is a professional that has undergone at least 40 hours of crisis counseling training and works under the direction of a supervisor in a crisis center. Their primary purpose is to render advice, counseling, or assistance to victims of sexual assault.
Advocates provide confidential support, assistance in healing, and information and appropriate referrals for victims of sexual assault.
Minnesota State Statute §595.02(k) also protects victim-advocate communications through sexual assault advocate-victim privilege. This privilege ensures that under Minnesota law, advocates “may not be allowed to disclose any opinion or information received from or about the victim without the consent of the victim.”
“A counselor may be compelled to identify or disclose information in investigations or proceedings related to neglect or termination of parental rights if the court determines good cause exists. In determining whether to compel disclosure, the court shall weigh the public interest and need for disclosure against the effect on the victim, the treatment relationship, and the treatment services if disclosure occurs. Nothing in this clause exempts sexual assault counselors from compliance with the provisions of sections 626.556 and 626.557.”
This means that sexual assault victims can access advocates as a confidential resource under Minnesota law.
MNCASA is committed to supporting advocates at MNCASA partner programs. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for training and other resources, and with any questions around advocacy.