The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is working to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault.

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Legal Advocates

How legal advocates respond to crimes of sexual violence can set the tone of an entire community:

  • Impacts a victim’s healing
  • Impacts what defense attorneys feel they can get away with in the courtroom.
  • Impacts what prosecutors feel they can get away with in the courtroom
  • Impacts what judges feel they can get away with in the courtroom
  • Impacts how comfortable people feel in seeking counseling.
  • Impacts how comfortable victims in a community feel about coming forward about sexual violence. If a legal advocate is visible and active in advocating for the rights of all victims of sexual violence it is noticed in the community.
  • Impacts prejudice by some in communities that certain victims do not matter. If legal advocates are a visible and active voice against the sexual victimization of all people regardless of socio-economic status, race, education, and lifestyle than all victims of sexual violence have the opportunity to meet the criminal justice process as equals.
  • Impacts how courts treat victims.
  • Impacts what a community feels are serious crimes. If legal advocates are not visible and active voices in the community is speaking out against sexual violence, offenders, and injustices in investigations, prosecutions, and in the courtroom it sends the message that sexual violence is not that serious of a social norm and is to be tolerated.
  • Impact if communities will blame victim’s for what they feel they “should have” done or not done verses blaming offenders for their actions against an individual’s body autonomy. 


Meeting the Needs of Prison Rape Victims: A Technical Assistance Guide for Sexual Assault Counselors and Advocates - Victims of prison rape are largely underserved. This guide is intended to support rape crisis counselors and advocates in providing services to victims of prison rape. To that end, the guide includes an overview of the problem of prison rape, outreach strategies, ethical discussions, and things to keep in mind when working in a prison setting.

The Pennsylvania Sexual Violence Benchbook. The Pennsylvania Sexual Violence Benchbook provides a comprehensive understanding of Pennsylvania’s current sexual offense laws. Section one, Understanding Sexual Violence, highlights the impact of sexual violence on a victim. Section two, The Process of a Sex Offense Case, addresses the procedural and practical steps of a sex offense case. Section three, Life After Megan’s Law, reviews and compares collateral ramifications of a sexual offense conviction, including sex offender registration laws. Section four, Resources, provides a list of victims’ service providers as well as current research. While this book is written primarily as a resource for Pennsylvania Judges, others in the criminal justice system may find its contents helpful.

Understanding Sexual Violence: Prosecuting Adult Rape and Sexual Assault Cases is a model curriculum developed under a grant from the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Violence Against Women Office. The National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) developed this curriculum as part of a joint project with the American Prosecutors Research Institute to provide prosecutors with tools for successful sex crimes prosecutions, especially non-stranger rapes.

Sexual Assault /Victims Compensation Assistance Program Manual The manual provides a review of VCAP and helps guide counselor/advocates in coupling VCAP with sexual assault victims and their families. It is based on core believes about compensation and how it is related to victimization and healing. Forms for this document have been removed but may be found at http://www.pccd.state.pa.us.

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Useful websites

Pennsylvania’s Justice Network (JNET) is the Commonwealth’s primary public safety and criminal justice information broker. JNET’s integrated justice portal provides a common online environment for authorized users to access public safety and criminal justice information.
This critical information comes from various contributing municipal, county, state, and federal agencies. JNET’s secure web portal provides access to over 35,000 practitioners throughout the Commonwealth’s sixty-seven counties as well as federal and state agencies.

sexual predators using the Internet to disguise their intentions. We’re firmly committed to stopping these crimes through our Innocent Images National Initiative. Based in Maryland, it teams FBI agents and local police in proactive task forces around the country, where they work online undercover to investigate those who prey on children.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s® (NCMEC) mission is to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

Each year, millions of children fall prey to sexual predators. These young victims are left with permanent psychological, physical, and emotional scars. ICE targets child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators, human smugglers and traffickers of minors, criminal aliens convicted of offenses against minors and those deported for child exploitation offenses who have returned illegally.

The Cyber Crimes Center (C3) Child Exploitation Section (CES) investigates the trans-border dimension of large-scale producers and distributors of images of child abuse, as well as individuals who travel in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors. The CES employs the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children through the use of websites, chat rooms, newsgroups, and peer-to-peer trading. These investigative activities are organized under Operation Predator, a program managed by the CES. The CES also conducts clandestine operations throughout the world to identify and apprehend violators. The CES assists the field offices and routinely coordinates major investigations. The CES works closely with law enforcement agencies from around the world because the exploitation of children is a matter of global importance.

Human Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. Sex trafficking occurs when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or when the person induced to perform such acts has not attained 18 years of age.

INTERPOL aims to end the abuse and exploitation of human beings for financial gain. Women from developing countries and young children all over the world are especially vulnerable to trafficking, smuggling or sexual exploitation.

The Minor Judiciary Education Board provides quality legal education and ethical training to prospective judicial officers and certifies those individuals who meet its high standards. In addition, the Minor Judiciary Education Board assures that incumbent judicial officers of the minor judiciary maintain proficiency through mandated continuing education.

How to Report Institutional Sexual Assault/Misconduct The Department has a zero tolerance for sexual assault/misconduct and we strive to maintain a safe and secure environment for all who are in our custody.

It is the mission of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association to: Assist the membership in the pursuit of the justice and in all matters relating to the execution of their duties. Advocate the position of the Association to the government and citizens of Pennsylvania. Coordinate with other agencies on matters of mutual concern. Communicate the Association's position to its membership and the public on criminal justice matters.

Directory of Pennsylvania District Attorneys by County

The PENNSYLVANIA DISTRICT ATTORNEYS INSTITUTE, the education and training affiliate of the Association was founded in 1983 for the purpose of developing and providing educational materials and training seminars for District Attorneys.  In addition to providing training and materials to District Attorneys and their staffs, the Institute also conducts child abuse investigation courses, case law updates and other training courses for Pennsylvania's law enforcement officials.  It now administers programs to provide training to victim service professionals as well.
The Juvenile Court Judges' Commission was established by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1959. Members of the commission are nominated by the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and appointed by the governor for three-year terms.


Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape * 125 N. Enola Dr. * Enola, PA 17025 * (717) 728-9740 * (800) 692-7445 * TTY (877) 585-1091

24-hour Information and Referral: 1-888-772-PCAR

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