Domestic Violence Services
The objective of the Domestic Violence Victim Advocate is to create a safe environment in which the victim feels free to make choices regarding the crime that was committed against them. The victim advocate is sensitive to the needs of domestic violence victims and always keeps the safety of the victim in mind when serving as a liaison between the victim and the criminal justice system.
The victim advocate works closely with the prosecuting and deputy attorney in making domestic violence crime victims an integral part of the criminal justice process including notification of hearing, trial and sentencing date. By working together we can effect positive change in making our community safe for everyone.
A Step By Step Guide to Victim Services
- After a domestic battery arrest has been made the domestic violence victim advocate will contact the victim by phone or written correspondence. The advocate will make the victim aware of various services available to them either through the prosecutor's office or social service agencies such as the Women's Center. The advocate will work closely with the Domestic Violence Probation Officer (DVPO) to gather information on the perpetrator.
- A screening team will meet every week to determine which domestic battery cases meet the criteria to go to domestic violence diversion. Victims will be kept to date on the status of their abuser's cases. The advocate greets victims and instructs them on court procedures, protocol, legal terminology and appropriate attire. The advocate will accompany the victim to the courtroom and remain with them throughout their court appearance.
- The Victim Services Advocate will keep victims informed of any significant developments in the investigation and the prosecution of their case, including final disposition and judgment. This is accomplished by mail, telephone and/or personal contact.