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Victims 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.



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