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. Despite many 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.
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.