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What is a Victim Advocate?

What Does A Victim Advocate Do?

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.

Call Our 24-Hour Crisis Line

Speak with a trained advocate who can provide assistance with needs resulting from victimization.  Call by clicking below! 

Testimonials

"With the help of VSS, you are empowered and encouraged to fight back and be pro-active. Then your conscience can be more at peace because you know you have taken some action to protest crimes inflicted on your loved one. It is sometimes your only consolation."

“The one takeaway for me in working with VSS is that it is a necessary organization. I know they are funded by grants and fundraisers but it’s something we need to make sure as a community that they have the funding needed because what they do for people in need doesn’t happen anywhere else. This is the only place that this happens and VSS helps with so many things.”

David Rose

Anchor, Q13 News and Host, Washington’s Most Wanted

“VSS is there when the unthinkable happens.  When a police officer knocks on your door and gives you tragic news, VSS helps navigate the court system, which can be very confusing. VSS is compassion, caring, and commitment. Commitment to once justice is done that victims and their families can move forward with their lives.”

Mark Roe

Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney

“When we can have VSS there with us working with people so they are getting taken care of, you feel like the whole system and community is more responsive. VSS can actually really work with and bond with the victims in ways that we can’t because of the volume we deal with.”

Jennifer Gregerson

Mayor, City of Mukilteo

“VSS has been our partner in recovery and healing and a key part in what makes Mukilteo Strong. VSS has been a trusted advocate for the victims that have suffered so much in the community.  I’m so grateful to VSS as our partner in strength.”

Jon Nehring

Mayor, City of Marysville

“VSS is there for people in their darkest hour. At a time when they need an advocate and friend, VSS steps in to fill that gap and help them begin their journey back to some sense of normalcy.” 

Myrle Carner

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

“This thing about closure. There is never really closure in a victim’s life but VSS helps individuals to get closer to that and that’s critical because the cops and the judicial system just move on to another case because they don’t have time. Victims live with this trauma forever so VSS is with them for as long as they need the services. VSS takes the time, more importantly, they really care."

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Victim Support Services
Victim Support Services added 7 new photos.1 day ago

Candlelight Remembrance in Snohomish County tonight. A time to remember those lost to violence. It’s always great to have a strong support system especially during the holidays.

Victim Support Services
Victim Support Services added 2 new photos.2 days ago

Just a friendly reminder that we have two Candlelight Remembrance events this weekend!

Saturday, December 15
5pm-7pm
Everett, WA

Sunday, December 16
5pm-7pm
Mount Vernon, WA

Please refer to the...