There are a lot of different organizations and entities involved in this work. Here is a quick break down of the various roles:
Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP)
WCSAP is the statewide sexual assault coalition. Our role is to unite agencies engaged in the elimination of sexual violence, through education, advocacy, victim services, and social change. We offer support to providers, develop resources and training, as well as advocate and share the voice of survivors at the state and national level (especially in regards to policy development).
Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA)
OCVA is a division of the Washington State Department of Commerce. OCVA is described on its website as "a voice within government for the needs of crime victims in Washington State. Established in 1990, OCVA serves the state by: advocating on behalf of victims obtaining needed services and resources; administering grant funds for community programs working with crime victims; assisting communities in planning and implementing services for crime victims; and advising local and state government agencies of practices, policies, and priorities which impact crime victims."
Community Sexual Assault Programs (CSAP)
There are 37 community sexual assault programs in Washington State that are accredited. Each county in Washington State has an accredited sexual assault program that serves that area (a few programs serve more than one county and some counties have more than one CSAP). Connecting with other programs near you would be an excellent way to garner some peer-to-peer mentoring and will be a valuable resource in the coming months as you settle in to your new position. Feel free to contact WCSAP if you would like someone to introduce you to your counterparts in nearby areas.
In addition to the accredited programs, many communities have additional sexual assault service providers in their area. These are often by-and-for organizations that provide sexual assault services in combination with their community-focused work. Building relationships with these other organizations will strengthen the services both programs are able to provide and will enhance your organization's cultural awareness and accessibility, which are key components to comprehensive services.
There are a number of various systems that a sexual assault survivor may interact with both immediately after an assault and throughout their longer term healing process. Advocacy organizations also work with these same systems in an effort to ensure that the services and resources they provide are survivor friendly and victim centered, that the staff within these organizations are familiar with the dynamics of sexual violence, that survivors are being referred to your organization, and to verify that the systems are accountable to meeting people's needs.
Some examples of systems partners include:
- Healthcare, Physical and Mental
- Criminal Legal System
- Civil Legal System
- Social Services