When a rape or sexual assault victim seeks treatment at a hospital in Okaloosa or Walton county, hospital staff call Shelter House and the Rape Response Team (RRT) is activated. Members of the RRT are Shelter House staff and volunteers who have received specialized training. The advocate immediately goes to the hospital to accompany the survivor during her or his exam and evidence collection and law enforcement interviews, if desired.
RRT advocates do not tell victims what to do. Rather, the advocate informs the survivor of her or his rights and lets that person know what options are available. It is the job of the advocate to ensure that victims’ interests are represented and their rights upheld.
In addition to this support, RRT advocates bring comfortable clothing, such as soft t-shirts and athletic pants, new socks and underwear and toiletries like a toothbrush, hand sanitizer and brush that the victim can use once the examination is complete.