What is a Victim Advocate?
Victim advocates are trained to support victims of crime. They offer emotional support, victims’ rights information, help in finding needed resources and assistance in filling out crime victim related forms. Our advocates frequently accompany victims and their family members through the criminal justice proceedings. Advocates work with other organizations, such as criminal justice or social service agencies, to get help or information for the victims we serve. Our advocates staff the 24 hour crisis hotline. Victim advocates’ responsibilities vary depending on the situation.
Advocacy services include:
- Crisis intervention
- Emotional support
- Resources and referrals
- Information on victimization
- Assistance with Crime Victims Compensation application
- Information on legal rights and protections
- Information on criminal justice process
- Assist victims and their family members submit statements to the court
- Intervention with landlords, creditors and employers on behalf of the victim
- Information on crime prevention
- Assistance with funeral/memorial arrangements
- Assistance with safety planning
- Assistance in navigating the medical systems
Some of our victim advocates are paid staff and others are volunteers. Some of our advocates are survivors who have chosen to help others who are going through their own healing process. Our victim advocates have specialized training that prepare them to assist victims. All of our victim advocates receive ongoing training surrounding crime victims and their needs.
How Our Advocates Work with Victims
Our advocates offer victims information about the different options available to them and support victims’ decision making. Our advocates are committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of confidentiality in their communication with victims.
If You Are a Victim
It may be difficult for you to reach out for help, but by contacting our agency for victim services you will find that our victim advocates can offer you information, support, and access to helpful services that you may not know about. Many victims are relieved to know our agency strives to make sure victims are helped and receive the tools they need to recover from the impact of their crime.