need a personal advocate whose chief concern is them and
not the crime. They require an advocate that will be available
to them to listen as they articulate what has happened from
a personal, not legal, viewpoint and who can answer questions
for them immediately instead of waiting a long time for
an answer. The advocate must be available to them for the
usually lengthy time period prior to actual prosecution.
Victims also need an advocate to explain the criminal proceedings
and to inform them that they do indeed have rights protected
under the Victim Protection Act of 1984. This is especially
useful in assisting the increasing number of domestic violence
victims. These victims are often in the position of requesting
that cases be dropped and not prosecuted. These victims
often require an advocate from a legal standpoint that can
discuss the benefits of prosecution and provide them with
the emotional support to go forward.
The victim advocate will be available from the commission
of the crime until final disposition. The criminal justice
process can be lengthy and sometimes confusing. The advocate
will assist victims thru all phases of the process to include
informing them of available programs and other resources.