Being victimized by crime can be a traumatic experience often causing the victim to feel they have nowhere to turn. However, 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.
The Victim’s Advocate helps the victims of crimes from the incident date 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 crisis intervention, financial assistance, assist with court proceedings, and make referrals to many of the excellent service agencies in our area. They also provide information on the Criminal Justice System, as well as serving as a liaison between the survivor and the investigator, and simply, 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 treated with dignity and compassion
- Protection from intimidation and harm
- Be informed concerning the criminal justice process and an opportunity to submit a Victim Impact Statement
- Compensation (if eligible) and/or restitution
- Preservation of property and employment
- Due process in criminal court proceedings
- Special attention for special witnesses (young, elderly, handicapped)
To speak with the Victim Assistance Officer Stephanie Karafa, call the Beaufort Police Department at
(843) 322-7900 or (843) 322-7913.