The goal of the Victim/Witness Program is to reduce the trauma victims experience and help ensure that survivors receive fair and compassionate treatment while participating in the criminal justice system. Our program provides a wide variety of comprehensive services. We service survivors of rape, child sexual assault and abuse, malicious wounding, robbery, home invasions, domestic abuse, threats and intimidation, and surviving families of murder (and more).
We seek to aid victims of crime with emotional support through crisis intervention counseling, advocacy, and education on the criminal justice system. Our objectives are as follows:
- First, to reduce the psychological shock and trauma a victim of crime can suffer by lending emotional and practical support immediately at the crisis scene or shortly thereafter. Many studies have shown that if a victim receives such help at the time of - or shortly after - the crisis, psychological trauma is greatly reduced or eliminated, thus speeding recovery and the re-establishment of a normal life.
- Secondly, to help the victim after the initial crisis with emotional support, counseling, advocacy, referral to local social service agencies, and (where possible) information on such things as: the status of the investigation, the status of the accused (arrested, released, conditions of release), the court system and their rights within it, safety and security, and much more. We assist survivors throughout the criminal justice system, including escorts to court proceedings, private waiting areas during trial, and information on Victims’ Rights under Virginia State Laws. We assist victims with establishing counseling as well as safety planning after the criminal justice system has completed their case. We also assist with filing claims in an effort to help with expenses such as counseling, medical bills, time off of work and funerals.
This website will acquaint you with the steps involved in bringing a case to trial, explain your role in this process, and describe the services available to assist you.
The legal process, frequently long and complicated, can be very stressful and confusing at times. The Victim Witness Program advocate is available to make sure that survivors receive education and assistance with these and other aspects of victimization. In conclusion, we strive to reduce the trauma, ease fears, accompany and assist with the criminal justice process (courts), and finally help the transition from victim to survivor while providing tools and education to establish a new normal.