COVID-19: Agency Updates/FAQs 2021

As the current Coronavirus & COVID-19 public health crisis continues to evolve, the Advocacy Center remains all too aware of the impact it is having on our community, survivors, and some of our most vulnerable populations. This page will have updates to agency services, relevant information for survivors, and those we serve. For immediate assistance or questions, please contact our 24 hour hotline (607-277-5000) to speak with an advocate. You can also follow us @AdvocacyTC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date.

Is the hotline still available? 

YES! The hotline number has not changed and is still available 24/7 at 607-277-5000. 

Can I access or join an online support group?

Yes! Using secure video technology we are now offering our “Survivor Empowerment Group” & “Knowledge is Power” Group for survivors of Domestic Violence. For more information please contact Emma at ehewitt@actompkins.org.

Do You Still Provide In-Person Advocacy and Support Services?

Yes, in some cases. For the health and safety of everyone we are still providing most agency services through secure remote platforms that allow for advocates and clients to use video meetings, online chat, texting, and phone. However, we are offering limited in-person meetings based on specific needs or circumstances. Any in-person meeting will require answering health screening questions, social distancing, and masks/face covering to be worn. All in-person meetings must be pre-arranged through an advocate.

Is your Administrative Office Open? 

Yes. We have opened our administrative offices up with light staffing during our regular business hours. Please pre-arrange office visits as we are following strict health and safety protocols.

Are Your Education Programs and Consults Still Available?

Yes! We continue to offer community and professional education on how to prevent, identify, or respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, or child sexual abuse through both live online and recorded programs for middle and high school students, members of our college communities, local professionals, and community groups or organizations. We offer education to individuals and groups throughout Tompkins County on how to prevent, identify, or respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, or child sexual abuse. Please email info@actompkins.org to request an educational program and follow us @AdvocacyTC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date.

What are your services and how can I access them?

Here’s how to access services for survivors– Call our 24 Hour Hotline 607-277-5000.

  • An advocate is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide crisis options, safety planning, emotional support, information about rights, resources and answer questions about community or agency resources. Use this number if you want to talk to an advocate: 607-277-5000.

Emergency Shelter:

  • Our shelter has been and continues to be open. If you are in need of a safe and confidential place to stay due to domestic violence call our hotline and talk with an advocate. If someone is unsafe in their current housing due to domestic violence, or at risk of losing that housing due to abuse, an advocate can help them think through their options. We can assist people who are at risk due to domestic violence with finding safe housing and with safety planning, even if our shelter is not the best option for their situation.

Legal Advocacy & Information:

  • Advocates can provide information about current court operations. Emergency Orders of Protection are still available and advocates can assist with a remote filing. Call for specific information and questions about a current court proceeding.
  • Police are still operating and advocates can provide support with filing a report and discussing your rights and options.

Child Advocacy Center Response:

  • Youth Services Advocates are available to support youth and families during and after interviews by law enforcement and/or child protective services. Our Child Interview Room is available as a safe, clean, child friendly and confidential location for interviews.

1 to 1 Advocacy & Support:

  • Provided through phone, text, and secure video as is safe and accessible for the survivor. Advocates can assist survivors in navigating other services including Child Protective Services, Courts, Mental Health Services, or other needs during this time.

Sexual Assault Nurse Exams:

  • Adult, teen & child survivors can access a post assault exam at Cayuga Medical Center Emergency Department. Advocates can provide 24/7 telehealth support and advocacy, and information about your rights.

Where can I find other survivor resources?

  • Safety Planning During Crisis: a new section of our website with various tips for safety planning and links to resources.
  • CARES Act Relief Payments: This document provides important information and guidance for domestic violence survivors about stimulus checks and your rights. Please contact an advocate with questions or concerns about accessing your check or other financial control/abuse that may be happening.

Where can I find other local resources?

  • 211 Tompkins Cortland (food, childcare, medical access, and housing)
  • Mutual Aid Tompkins “Neighbors Supporting Neighbors”: Volunteers concerned about our communities and helping to make sure those most vulnerable and affected by COVID-19 get the help they need; with no paid staff, all aid comes directly from the community.

We appreciate the support of our community! Please visit our Support Our Work Page for updated agency needs and how you can help support survivors.