As a volunteer, I know that I am making a lasting contribution. Working with victims is very rewarding. There is nothing quite like hearing "thank you" from someone who has been through a difficult time. I have learned so much more than I ever thought possible about the justice system and about myself. I hope you will consider joining me in this important work.
- A Volunteer
Message from the District Attorney
Crime is a community problem which can only be reduced through community involvement. One way for community members to become involved is to become a volunteer in the Victim Assistance Program. All you need is a desire to help victims and a willingness to commit some of your time. Our community cannot resolve the suffering and losses already caused by completed crime, but we can prevent future victimization and assist the victim's readjustment to the effects of the crime.
Community volunteers are absolutely vital to this process. A friendly person, who will simply listen to the concerns of a victim, helps that victim put the crime behind her or him. Someone who will accompany the victim to court and answer questions about the process is always appreciated. Someone to suggest community programs which may assist the victim helps that victim work through a confusing and disturbing time. There are many different opportunities for trained volunteers to support crime victims.
Unfortunately, Marion County has many new crime victims each year. Those victims need concerned community members to help them through the problems which the crime has created. If you have a desire to help a victim, we can provide the training. Your assistance will fill a great need in our community and make a positive difference to a neighbor who is now a victim.
Walter M. Beglau, District Attorney
Overview of Victim Assistance Division
The Marion County Victim Assistance Division was established in 1981 as a program of the District Attorney's Office. Our volunteers and staff work side-by-side with the DA's Office on behalf of crime victims. The program is funded through a combination of state and federal grants, general fund dollars, and donations.
The mission of the Victim Assistance Division is to involve crime victims and the community in a restorative process that diminishes the devastating impact of crime. The goals of the program are to:
- Provide direct victim services
- Advocate for victim rights
- Offer volunteer opportunities
- Provide education and promote public awareness
- Promote professional and agency communication
Volunteers and student interns contribute more than 40,000 hours to the program each year. Volunteers make it possible for us to provide many needed services to crime victims. There are several ways in which volunteers can contribute their time, compassion, and skills. Please consider the following opportunities:
Day Advocate (normal business hours) for adult victims of:
- sexual assault
- victims of child abuse and neglect
- victims of partner abuse
24-hour On-Call Advocate for victims of sexual assault
Office support and special projects
Volunteers provide the following services to victims of violent crimes:
- Support through a sexual assault examination
- Crisis intervention and short-term emotional support
- Accompaniment to meetings and court hearings
- Information on the case status
- Referral for counseling, social services, or other needs
- Assistance in applying for Crime Victims' Compensation
- Minimum of 18 years of age
- Ability to work effectively with diverse client base
- Strong moral character
- No record of criminal conduct
- Submit application and release form
- Background check
- Applicant interview
- Sign volunteer/staff contract