Q: Do I have to pay to receive services from Support Within Reach?

No. All of our services are provided at no cost to our clients.

Q: What is an advocate?

A sexual violence advocate’s main role is to provide emotional support, information about possible resources, and education about legal and medical processes. Advocates are there to answer questions that the victim and their family/friends may have about the forensic exam, role of law enforcment, feeling about the assault or offender, and to assure the victim that the assault/abuse was not their fault. Advocates play a vital role in assisting victims and their loved ones in dealing more effectively with the feelings of fear and confusion that stem from sexual violence trauma.

Q: Are services confidential?

Yes, all services at Support Within Reach (SWR) are confidential. If you are under the age of 18, you need to be aware that we follow the Minnesota guidelines of Mandated Reporting laws, which requires us to report instances of child sexual abuse where the offender is someone in a position of authority over the victim. This includes people like parents, family, close family friends, babysitters, coaches, clergy, etc. Clients of all ages should be aware that we are also required to contact local law enforcement agencies if we have reason to believe you are going to self-harm or endanger others.

Q: Do I have to file a police report to have a rape exam?

No. In MN, the law allows sexual assault victims to receive a medical forensic exam, at no cost to the victim, without making a report to the police. Evidence can still be collected without an accompanying police report, but will be stored without any personal identifying information by local law enforcement agencies for two weeks, then destroyed. At any point during these two weeks, if you decide to go forward with a report, you can contact your sexual violence advocate or law enforcement authorities to get the process started.

Q: If I am assaulted, what can I expect from Support Within Reach?

SWR is dedicated to assisting all survivors of sexual violence. An advocate can assist you in identifying all of your options, including how to access medical care and whether to contact law enforcement. The staff at SWR is respectful of the uniqueness of every person’s experience and will be there to empower you to make safe and educated choices about how to move forward, heal, and get the help you deserve.

Q: Does SWR help family and friends?

Yes! In many situations, people in the survivor’s life have also been traumatized, because they are hurting for their loved one who was assaulted/abused. SWR can help friends and family learn to cope with the experience, and assist them in being a positive support system for the survivor. Education about sexual violence and the after-effects of assault/abuse can greatly increase a loved one’s ability to properly support the survivor. These services are provided free of charge.