The feeling that someone is there if & when I need them. It made my safety even more secure.
— Survivor from Alabama<, Meeting Survivors’ Needs through Non-Residential Domestic Violence Services & Supports: Results of a Multi-State Study by NRCDV (November 2011)/span>
To be safe, each victim needs responses and resources that address the violence, and match her life circumstances, culture, and plans. Many will also need a victim-defined advocate. One who will listen, explore relevant strategies, and work with each victim to implement the safety plan she’s chosen.
Some victims know what will help and how to get it. Others will need to talk through the violence and other risks, their needs, and the options available before each decides what will make things better. A meaningful referral may be all that some victims need to access assistance. Others will need the help of an advocate, particularly those who must use bureaucratic, inaccessible, or even hostile systems. Victims with disabilities, with language barriers, and who face bias or discrimination because of who they are will need culturally responsive advocacy.
Victims will get what they need from a variety of sources, including personal, domestic violence specific, community services, legal system, and other government programs.