360 Communities Lewis House provides emergency housing and assistance to individuals and families escaping domestic or sexual violence. Trained advocates offer emotional support, safety planning, referrals to community resources, and help navigating the court system.
Children are exposed to or experience domestic violence in many ways. They may hear one parent/caregiver threaten the other, observe a parent who is out of control or reckless with anger, see one parent assault the other, or live with the aftermath of a violent assault. Threats to the safety of a caregiver impact children, regardless of whether it results in physical injury or not.
At Lewis House, we have Family/Youth Advocates who specialize in working with children and their caregivers who have experienced violence. Advocates lead children’s support groups. They educate parents and caregivers about the effects of violence and trauma on children, assist parents with educational goals for their children, provide tips and tools for parents to continue to support their children’s emotional needs, and coordinate family fun activities.
360 Communities advocates walk with survivors through the legal process, helping fill out orders for protection, attending court hearings and providing information.
- Attend criminal and civil hearings with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in all three court houses in Dakota County (West St. Paul, Apple Valley and Hastings).
- Are trained to assist with writing Orders for Protection, Harassment Restraining Orders, and Victim Impact Statements. It is always best practice for survivors to have a trained advocate assist with writing an order.
- Make referrals to the legal clinic, held by Legal Assistance of Dakota County at each Lewis House location each month, where questions about family law issues can be answered.
360 Communities offers community advocacy for victims/survivors in the community who may not need or want to stay at a Lewis House shelter. Community advocates are mobile and can meet people where it most convenient for them.
Community advocates have offices located in law enforcement agencies across Dakota County. We work to influence how police respond to sexual and domestic violence. We partner with other service organizations and healthcare providers to ensure victims access what they need for their unique situation. Community advocates can help with safety planning, emotional support, goal planning, financial assistance for crime victims, connections to community resources, and much more.
Visit our Support Groups page to learn about support group resources available to you.