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National Advocacy Project

For many survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence, reporting what has happened to the police can feel like a huge step.

The National Advocacy Project was set up to ensure that anyone considering taking this step has as much information available to them as possible in order to help them come to the decision that is right for them, and that they are supported throughout whatever follows that decision.

17 rape crisis centres across Scotland now have an Advocacy worker. Advocacy workers can support survivors with a decision to report to the police so someone can be in touch with the service even if they are unsure if they want to report. The National Advocacy Project provides support and information through all stages of the Criminal Justice System, from before a statement is made through to the resolution of a court case.

Advocacy workers can support survivors with the process of giving a statement if they are referred early enough in the process. They are able to attend appointments and meetings with survivors which are related to the criminal justice process such as precognition.

Advocacy workers can support survivors to get updates regarding the progress of their cases, provide information about special measures, attend court with them and can act as in-court supporters if requested as well as provide general emotional support throughout the process and after court is finished.

The impact having an Advocacy Worker can make was clear from feedback received from some of the first survivors to received support from the service:

Jane*:...’with Rape Crisis, I never, kind of, felt they were trying to push me in to doing anything ...at any point I needed a question answered, or I wanted to talk about something, they were just there ... you, kind of, feel like there isn’t anybody on your side. And they are.’

Linzey*:’...just being informed I think is really, really important at every stage. It just allows you to feel a bit more in control, I guess, because everything’s been out of control for so long.’

*Interviews were completed with a number of survivors who used the project during its first 18 months

You can find out more about the National Advocacy Project in this briefing.
A full evaluation of the National Advocacy Project is available here.

Please email us if you have any questions or are looking for further information’