The first meeting is often a very delicate situation, as many victims may be very skittish and find it difficult to trust anyone. Sexual assault victims, for instance, will often be more open to working with a female victim advocate than a man. After the initial meeting, a victim advocate will then work on getting the victim any emergency medical treatment that may be necessary.
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If the victim has been physically injured, for instance, they may need to be treated in the emergency room. A victim advocate may try to urge a sexual assault victim to be examined by a doctor and get samples collected into a rape kit directly following the crime. Samples in a rape kit may include swabs of bodily fluids, fingernail scrapings, and any clothing worn during the time of the assault. For instance, the advocate may make sure that the victim has a safe place to go and has access to such things as a telephone, transportation, and food.
Finding a safe place to live might also be necessary, and a victim advocate can usually help a victim do this as well. In order to do this, a victim advocate may help the victim apply for housing and other public assistance. A victim advocate can also speak on the behalf of a victim, if she so desires. A safety plan usually involves outlining steps that a victim could take should her aggressor make contact with her again.
For instance, if a victim sees her assailant near her home or if he calls her on the phone, she should contact the police immediately, or get to a safe public place. The victim advocate will also help the victim perform such actions as getting a restraining order. Navigating the legal system is one of the most difficult parts for a victim.
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A victim advocate can be very helpful in the event that the victim needs to take legal action against her assailant, and the advocate is often present through the entire process. For example, an advocate may:. Even after justice has been served, many victims still find it difficult to move on with their lives.
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Some may not have employment after their ordeal, for instance, due to physical injuries or oppression from their aggressor. A victim advocate can work with a victim in this instance, and help her create a resume or find employment. Mental and emotional disorders are also not uncommon after a traumatic experience such as a violent crime. If a victim is in need of mental health services, a victim advocate can refer her to support groups or mental health professionals that can help her down the road to recovery.
Victim advocates may be employed by a number of different facilities, where they can be available to any and all victims in need of their services. They might work in police stations, legal offices, social service offices, and courts.
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Hospitals, shelters, and non-profit groups might also have victim advocates on staff as well. You can pursue a victim advocate career a few different ways. Some agencies and organizations might consider training the right people for the job, for instance, but this is usually rare. Most individuals interested in victim advocate careers will usually need to get a formal education. Some victim advocates might also earn graduate degrees in these areas as well. Although it is not mandatory, some victim advocates may want to become certified, since certification can lead to more job opportunities and higher wages.
It is true that she had the terrible misfortune of being caught in the crossfire at that exact moment. But living in Jacksonville is beginning to feel like being in the wrong place all of the time. Heidy was the fourth person under 18 killed this year. Residents in Jacksonville expressed concern over the recent spate of violent crime. These are our children. Our cops are in pursuit of these terrible people.
Prayers for the family. Our law enforcement will bring the full force of the law on those who committed this. Some attribute the uptick in violent crime to a lack of police presence or a lack of investment in public safety. But whether or not that has any truth in it, that explanation camouflages a broader, more troubling problem.
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The degradation of morality—the loss of a common humanity and dignity. When did personal ethics take the place of a basic sense of right and wrong shared and understood by everyone? They were seeking a brighter future—the opportunity to raise their family in a safer environment. They came to our county, our state and city looking for a safer place to raise their family.
Instead, they are sending their 7-year-old daughter back to Honduras in a coffin. We need to reestablish what are shared values are. For all our differences, placing a greater value on life is something we can all agree on. Too many of us are finding out how truly short life can be.
Every day, there is a new, stunned and horrified person who learns that two who had become one have become half again. Your heart explodes in a crush that stops you instantly. You are spared most of the questions: The body on the floor probably walked in as a burglar was walking out. The previously non-violent burglar is about to become a very violent felon with your loved one. You know they have checked it out. Someone with good intentions will actually tell you to your face that the police actually have to rule the immediate family out before looking elsewhere.
Of course you understand…well sort of…. Suddenly, there is an arrest and an arraignment is scheduled.
The media wants to talk to you. They never had even noticed you existed before. Now, they have questions. The entire world apparently except for one is sorry for your loss! I would have never been so careless with something that precious to me! Numb, you wake up and get dressed. You grow a beard for the first time in your life. The morning before the memorial service the steel blade against your neck looked, well, easy.
Somehow you find yourself in front of a massive door in front of courtroom number A nice but firm bailiff with a clipboard asks you why you are there. Your mind goes blank…. Suddenly a nice person walks up. The person apparently recognizes your stunned face from media reports. They ask you what appears to be the most intelligent and comforting question you have heard since the attack on your family.
The Advocate is telling you that if you have a cell phone with you that you need to turn it all of the way off.
What is a Victim Advocate?
It cannot simply be on vibrate. You have to turn it all the way off. If the judge hears it vibrating, you will be kicked out of the courtroom.
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