Many prosecutor offices throughout the world are recognizing the advantages to both the victim and the successful prosecution of the case in providing the victim with a victim witness advocate. In most countries victim witness advocates are funded by and housed in the court system itself. Effective victim witness programs reach out to victims, inform them of their rights and court processes, provide referrals to services, and accompany victims to court hearings.
Tools for Training Victim Witness Advocates
The US Office for Victims of Crime offers a free-of-charge online training course for victim service providers. The module-style training “will provide professionals with the basic skills they need to assist victims effectively and sensitively.” It covers
The Role of the Victim and Victim Advocates in Managing Sex Offenders (Center for Sex Offender Management, USA). A free-of-charge online curriculum with a victim-centred approach designed for collaboration between those who work in sex offender management and victim advocates. It contains modules for a two-day training with interactive exercises, slides, participant materials, and training strategies and techniques on the following topics: Understanding Sexual Assault from a Victim’s Perspective, Working With Sexual Assault Victims, Enhancing Victim Involvement in Sex Offender Management, and Strategies for Applying the Victim-Centered Approach. For more information, see the website.
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