Advise victims of crime on the legal options available to them.
What does a Victim Advocate do?
A crime doesn’t necessarily end when police officers and lawyers succeed in hunting down the criminal and putting them on trial. Victims of the crime continue to feel the emotional, psychological, and even financial damage long after the attack. Victim advocates help others put their lives back together and also serve as buffers between their clients and the callous legal world.
Your first responsibility as a victim advocate is to offer support and comfort to those who come to you for help. You help each person look at the various legal options and other support services available to them so they can decide what’s best for the situation. Consolidating resources helps put all options out on the table so the people you’re helping can focus on healing instead of worrying about the details.
If your client goes to court, then you help file the paperwork and explain the situation to them. Legal cases are stressful enough, but when the case deals with a sensitive topic like an attack, it can be too much for a person to handle alone. A victim advocate serves as both an advisor and a translator, explaining the legal jargon and counseling others on the best course of action.
Working as a victim advocate can lead to other social service careers—as a social worker, for example. What unites your talents together is your desire to help others so they can heal and move on.