The Sheriff's Victim Advocate program provides comprehensive services to those affected by traumatic or violent criminal acts including survivors, witnesses, and family members. Emotional recovery largely depends on the support that victims receive. Victim Advocates provide support, resources, and an understanding of the process of victimization and trauma recovery.
Being part of the Sheriff's Office Investigations Section affords the victim advocates a unique opportunity to have immediate contact with victims. Investigators of traumatic and violent crimes can access a victim advocate twenty-four hours a day. A victim advocate may respond directly to an incident scene, or to a medical care facility to provide support or coordinate other resources and referrals as appropriate.
An Advocate receives and reviews all domestic violence and domestic dispute reports and contacts all victims by telephone, letter, or home visit. This follow-up ensures that all domestic violence victims receive information regarding victim's rights, protection orders, domestic violence, safety planning, and referral information. Domestic violence victims are also informed about the judicial process. Transportation and court accompaniment are available for all victims.
Domestic Dispute Early Intervention Program
The Domestic Dispute Early Intervention Program, implemented in July 1999, provides early intervention services to both of the parties involved in a domestic dispute. The goal in conducting early intervention at the time of a dispute is twofold. First, by providing resources early, we may prevent the situation from escalating into domestic violence. Advocates are also finding that building relationships with potential domestic violence victims before a domestic violence incident occurs allows for an established rapport with victims and promotes cooperation in prosecution.
9-1-1 Emergency Telephone
Victims identified as being at a high risk for retaliatory abuse are provided with a 9-1-1 capable cellular telephone, with the goal of increasing access to emergency services in the event of an attack. This provides a secondary gain of giving victims peace of mind that they can get help immediately when needed.
Alzheimer's Disease ID
This program is for persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, who may be at risk of becoming lost and disoriented. It allows family members to register their loved one on a database that includes a digital imaging system. This system provides the capability to print missing person posters for distribution to the media and community, if necessary. The database can include a photograph, personal identification information, and information about how to contact family members and physicians.
Huggable Friends Program
"Huggable Friends" are stuffed animals provided to children who are primary victims of child abuse/sexual abuse or secondary victims of domestic violence. Huggable friends help to provide comfort in the face of tragedy.
Suicide Attempt Follow-Up
The victim advocate receives reports of suicide attempts and uses them to write follow-up letters and make personal visits to the person who attempted suicide. Victim Advocates make mental health care referrals and provide other community resource information as needed. Suicide prevention information is also available for family members to help them in assisting their loved one.
The Victim Advocacy Program also assists needy families by distributing food baskets and/or gifts for children during the traditional holiday season. This is a joint effort of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and local community businesses.
Victim Advocates can be reached at (937) 225-4665 or (937) 225-4041 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday, excluding county holidays or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Victim Advocates may also be reached through the Regional Dispatch Center at (937) 225-4357.