Crime Stoppers Victim Advocacy
Victim Advocates are trained to support victims of all crime, especially violent crime. They offer emotional support, victims’ rights information, help in finding local resources and a myriad of other responsibilities. Advocates need to have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with people of different types of education and background. Most of all they need to be sympathetic, understanding and patient.
Crime Stoppers of Houston became the first of its kind to enact a victim services/advocacy program in June 2018. One of our main objectives is to ensure victims and survivors have a voice in our criminal justice system. The office routinely meets with victims and their families to discuss how Crime Stoppers can help bring attention to their case with the assistance of law enforcement through media intervention. We believe it is vital to empower crime victims in the hopes of rebuilding their lives.
One of the unique services the office offers that no one else does is to regularly meet with the parole board along with victims and surviving family members of homicide to assist in requesting the offender remain in prison. In addition the office conducts numerous victim related events throughout the year, including The National Day of Remembrance and The Memorial Tree Ceremony to bring attention to the issues surviving family members of homicide have to endure. The office also coordinates events in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in addition to hosting forums for Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking and Missing Persons.
In Harris County we are fortunate to have over 25 different victim service related organizations to help combat and assist victims of child abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, drunk driving, missing persons, sexual assault and homicide victims. Crime Stoppers is proud and honored to partner with all the agencies that assist victims of crime. Crime Stoppers hosts a quarterly meeting of law enforcement victim service agencies and advocates to ensure everyone is on top of the issues currently facing crime victims.
Our office often seeks legislative remedies and solutions to enhance public safety and victims’ rights. Last Legislative session the Director pursued a statute that became the first of its kind in the country titled ‘The Sir Romeo Law’. The new law enacted in September 2019, allows families whose children were the victims of attempted murder to apply for relocation expenses from the State’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund administered by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. The office assisted in the passage of the new CLEAR ALERT which allows for alerts to be sent out when adults go missing as a result of criminal conduct. Texas became the second state in the nation to pass such a law.
Crime victims are the only unwilling participants in the criminal justice system: Everyone else chose their roles. Crime Stoppers mantra is to assist victims to make sure their rights, well-being and healing are the utmost priority within our criminal justice system. We try to take negatives and turn victimization into positive action for social change. We can’t go back and change what happened to you and your family but Crime Stoppers of Houston strongly believes we should try to make things better in order for everyone to leave a lasting legacy.
Crime Stoppers of Houston Victim Services and Advocacy Program is nationally recognized for their innovative practices regarding crime victims’ rights and was recently awarded the distinguished Marlene Young Leadership Award from the National Office of Victim Assistance (NOVA) for going above and beyond the scope of providing much needed services for victims of crime.
Posted byon 20 Apr 2020