The Importance of Crime Victim Advocates
When megachurch pastor Andy Savage admitted to a “sexual incident” with a minor during his time as a youth minister, he was met with a standing ovation. This left advocates, victims, and people throughout the United States confused and appalled. It raises the question: how should we support victims and handle the people who committed the crime?
Jules Woodson was 17 in 1998 when the assault happened. Leaving out the horrific details, Savage told his congregation that he had sinned, referring to the issue as a “sexual incident,” but said that the issue had been dealt with a long time ago in Texas. According to Woodson, however, the issue had never been resolved. While she has now taken the issue to the authorities, it is unclear whether the case will be followed up on because of Texas’ statute of limitations on sexual assault.
Who Advocates for Sexual Assault Victims?
For many years, sexual assault victims were the ones thrown under the bus when the news of the assault came to light, but that has, fortunately, been changing in recent years. With the Harvey Weinstein case coming to light, more and more women feel propelled and protected enough to come forward with their stories.
Still, many victims face backlash for coming forward and many people still often take the side of the accused.
What Can Victims Do?
The most important thing is to find a way to heal. It’s not easy getting over something so horrible, but there are many things one can do to cope. If you decide to take legal action, finding a reputable lawyer who will take your side and defend you is important.
The Importance of a Crime Victim Advocate
Oftentimes, crimes go unreported because of the fear of backlash. Crime victim advocates within the legal field are important because they work to ensure this doesn’t happen. Christopher Cazares of the Cazares Law Firm is a crime victim advocate who works to provide resources, advice, representation, and care to victims of sexual assault. As a crime victim advocate, he can offer:
- Access to resources, transportation, and housing
- Information and representation within the justice system
- Dealing with third parties, such as landlords, employers, and creditors, among other services
If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault and seek help from a lawyer and crime victim advocate, the Cazares Law Firm can help. Call us today to learn more!