The Victim Witness Assistance Center has trained and experienced Victim Advocates to work with victims, witnesses and their families throughout the criminal justice process. They serve as the liaison between the victims, prosecutor, law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies. It is important to us that victims are treated fairly and remain an integral part of the proceedings. The Advocates will provide the following services:
Crisis Intervention and Emergency Assistance
The VWAC staff will assist victims with an emotional crisis as a result of a crime. In certain cases, we provide emergency services such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care and transportation.
Resource and Referral Assistance
A victim of crime may be in need of assistance from other community agencies. VWAC will help obtain appropriate services to meet the victims’ special needs by connecting the victim with resources which offer financial aide, emergency assistance, counseling and psychiatric services, legal assistance and assistance with medical and rehabilitation programs.
Orientation to the Criminal Justice System
The VWAC staff will provide information regarding court procedures and the function of the local criminal justice system.
Case Status and Disposition
In addition to providing case status, dispositions and updates regarding the criminal case they also explain what to expect as a witness in court.
Court Support and Escort
When needed, a Victim Advocate will accompany victims, witnesses and family members to court proceedings. They provide support and information during this process in addition to on going interviews with law enforcement and prosecutors. As needed, transportation will be provided to the victims, witnesses and their family members.
The VWAC staff can assist in retrieving personal property that was held as evidence by the court or law enforcement.
Victim Impact Statement
This is an opportunity for you and your family to be heard by the court. The VWAC staff will assist you and/or your family in making a personal or written statement to the court, probation department or parole hearing on how this crime has impacted your life.
Upon request an Advocate can inform your employer that you have been a victim or are a witness to a crime that may cause you to miss work. They will explain to the employer that you have been called upon by the court to testify as a witness.
The Restitution Clerk and Victim Advocate located in the District Attorney’s Office can help you obtain restitution with your economic losses as a result of the crime. They act as a liaison between the Deputy District Attorney, our Restitution Unit, and the court.
Victim’s Compensation Program
If you or a member of your family sustained injury as a direct result of a crime, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance through the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
The goal of the Victim Advocate is to provide or arrange for services to meet the material, emotional and informational needs experienced by victims and witnesses thereby allowing for faster and more complete recovery from the effects of crime. The Victim Advocates have completed the mandatory Entry-Level and Advanced Level Victim Advocate Training. The advocates must demonstrate an understanding of victim's rights, the dynamics of victimization, crisis intervention, cultural, ethnic and special needs assessment and the Victim's Compensation Program.
The victim advocate is available to intercede on behalf of victims with family and friends as well as law enforcement officers and prosecutors. Advocates become involved in a case after a police report is filed. The advocate is dedicated to respond to the needs of the victim even if there is no suspect and no prosecution. If you would like to speak with a victim advocate please contact: VWAC
Advocates are trained to assist victims in the following ways:
- Crisis Intervention
- Emergency Assistance (housing, food, medical care, etc...)
- Community Resource Referrals
- Assistance with Filing California Crime Compensation Claims
- Information about the Criminal Justice System (case status, impact statements, restitution)