It is the mission of the Cherokee County Victim Assistance Program to identify and promote access to the opportunities and resources victims need in order to recover from a traumatic event. In addition, this unit will strive to promote justice for victims, by ensuring a voice for victims.
The Victim’s Advocate position arose from a coordinated, multi-agency effort across Cherokee County to expand the current work of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office; to include a Victim Advocate responding to all victims of violent crime, including but not limited to: sexual assault, family violence, child crimes, suicide, death and hate crimes. The Victim Advocate effectively supports victims of crime, beginning at the scene of the crime and following through until the end of the investigation, court process and follow-ups. These services include, but are not limited to:
- 24-hour availability for on-the-scene crisis-counseling
- Court accompaniment
- Dissemination of information of all local resources
- Follow-up contact with the victim
- Medical accompaniment
- Victim transportation
Serving hundreds of victims each year, the Program has earned awards for Outstanding Law Enforcement Professional in both regional and state competitions. In June 2009, the Program brought home the highest level of recognition when presented with the Crime Victim Services Award by the National Sheriffs' Association. Victim Services continues to be an evolving field and program advocates are pushed to excel each year with on-going experience and training.
This project was supported with sub-grant funding awarded by the National Sheriff's Association and Justice Solutions under a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice (Grant Number 2002-VF-GX-K003). Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S Department of Justice or the National Sheriff's Association.
Victim Advocate Response Team Unit
Each team member is trained to provide immediate on-scene services to victims of violent crime and responds for all local law enforcement agencies. The Unit is further equipped with vehicles, pagers, radios, cameras, and information on local resources so that a seamless response to the victim is possible.
The Victim Advocate Unit also coordinates Neighborhood Watch programs throughout the county, as requested. For more information on any of the services provided by this Response Team Unit or if you are interested in joining the Victim Advocate Response Team, please call Stephanie Swanson at 828-837-2589, ext. 404.