Victims Advocate

Western Carolina

 

What is a Victim?

A victim is the principle client of the criminal justice system; without their cooperation, there is no justice and no justice system.

What is a Victim Advocate?

A victim advocate is a trained professional that provides support. An Advocate can offer victims information about different options and services that are available to them, but are not to give legal advice. Advocates do not tell victims what to do, they provide assistance and guidance to victims so that they can make informed decisions during very stressful times. Advocates maintain the highest level of confidentiality possible. If you are a victim it may be tough for you to reach out for help. Victim advocates offer support and information concerning access to services in your community.

The Role of an Advocate:

Advocates maintain the highest level of confidentiality possible. If you are a victim it may be tough for you to reach out for help. A victim advocate is a trained professional that provides support and information concerning access to services in your community. Advocates are empathetic and provide emotional support to victims so that they can make informed decisions during very stressful times. Advocates do not tell victims what to do, nor can they speak for the victim. An Advocate can offer victims information about different options and services that are available to them, but are not to give legal advice. Advocates provide assistance in filling out paperwork as in restraining order forms and victim compensation paperwork if the victim qualifies. Advocates help arrange and provide transportation if needed. They answer victims questions, explaining the court procedures and stay with the victim through the court process and even after sentencing if needed. The advocate can intercede with an employer to explain time missed from work due to cooperating with a law enforcement investigation or court procedure.

A victim advocate in law enforcement may have to share information with the investigators. All advocates must report certain types of information to law enforcement to include any type of threat to a person (client threatening to hurt themselves or someone else) and neglect or abuse of children.

How Advocates Work With Victims:

  • Provide information on victimization
  • Provide information on crime prevention
  • Provide information on victims' rights
  • Provide information on the criminal justice system
  • Stays with the victim through the court process
  • Be empathetic and provide emotional support to the victims and their family
  • Provide information on services available in your community
  • Provide information on safety planning
  • Assisting victims or family members with victims compensation applications
  • Assisting victims in finding shelter and transportation
  • Assist with Domestic Violence Protective Orders/No Contact Orders
  • Intercede with creditors, landlords and employers on behalf of the victim
  • Provide referrals for services/resources the victim may need
  • Maintain the highest level of confidentiality
     

A Message from Sgt. Jacob Deal

Welcome to Western!  I am Sgt. Jacob Deal of the Western Carolina University Police Department.  I serve the campus and the Police Department as the Support Services Sergeant.  This position includes Investigations, Records, Crime Prevention, Program Coordinator among many other duties. I am a fully commissioned Sergeant, and also have received certification as a Victim Services Practitioner from  NCVAN Academy (North Carolina Victim Service Practitioner Academy). 

My Office is at the WCU Police Department, which is located in the Camp Building Annex.  My desk extension number is 828.227.3207 and my email is jpdeal@wcu.eduIf I can assist please contact me with any questions or problems..  

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