"Since the release of national standards to address sexual abuse in detention — as mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) — advocates have been called upon more than ever to assist incarcerated survivors. Yet the dynamics of sexual violence behind bars, and the related needs of incarcerated survivors, are new to many advocates. Some advocates may also have concerns about working in prisons, jails, and other detention settings that are likely to be unfamiliar. Additionally, survivors in detention may come from backgrounds that are different from survivors in the community who seek help from local advocacy programs. This is especially true in rural areas where most of the nation’s corrections facilities are located. Despite these barriers, many advocates are eager to provide services to prisoner rape survivors, and they have the relevant experience to do so. Advocates’ experience working with survivors in the community gives them the most important skills needed to assist survivors behind bars. What’s more, some advocates have been providing services — ranging from hospital accompaniment to in-person confidential counseling — to incarcerated survivors for a number of years. This brief guide is intended to help advocates get started by answering some common questions asked by those who are new to working with incarcerated survivors."
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