Being victimized by crime can be a traumatic experience, often causing victims to feel they have nowhere to turn. It is a goal of the Beaufort Police Department to provide crime victims with resources and services to move forward with their lives. On a daily basis, incident reports are reviewed and victims are contacted either by phone or by mail.
What the victim’s advocate does
The victim’s advocate helps victims of crimes from the date of the incident all the way through the trial. The role of an advocate is quite unique. Though they are not investigators, their role in the criminal justice system is quite simple.
They guide survivors of crime through the aftermath of the traumatic event through:
- Assisting with court proceedings
- Crisis intervention
- Financial assistance
- Making referrals to many of the excellent service agencies in our area
They also provide information on the criminal justice system, as well as serve as a liaison between the survivor and the investigator, and simply, by just being there to talk.
Victims have rights, and it is important for any crime victim to be aware of those rights. Victims and witnesses of crime have the right to:
- Be informed about the criminal justice process and their right to submit a Victim Impact Statement
- Be treated with dignity and compassion
- Compensation (if eligible) and/or restitution
- Due process in criminal court proceedings
- Preservation of property and employment
- Protection from intimidation and harm
- Special attention for special witnesses (young, elderly, disabled)