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Domestic Violence Advocate

SUMMARY Assists victims of domestic violence and promotes trust and communication between the victims and the State's Attorney's Office as the cases proceed through the criminal justice system.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

In charge of daily operations of the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit. Directly reports to the State's Attorney regarding the program's progress. The State’s Attorney advises and approves the procedural formulation and implementation of policies with the intention of maintaining and improving the effectiveness of the program.

Works with reluctant victims:

• Arranging child care for victim’s children
• Explaining their rights about obtaining an Order of Protection and what to do if the Order is violated.
• Flexible with hours in order to meet with and advise victim
• Gathers statements and other related documentation from victim. Usually includes medical releases if obtaining evidence is necessary for prosecution
• Preparing for court testimony. Usually present with victim while in court.
• To explain in detail and in understandable terms the State's Attorney's position of the criminal case and his/her situation.

Other Responsibilities
• Develops and presents information and training programs regarding domestic violence issues. Such recipients may be law enforcement agencies, community groups, religious groups, and community agencies.
• Keeps and updates a list of expert witnesses who specialize in domestic violence and abuse
• Keeps and updates a list of referrals for victims. This list would include support groups, counselors, financial assistance counselors and others who are involved in the support of domestic violence victims
• Makes sure proper care is available for victim’s children
• Makes sure that proper reports and documentation are completed
• Running criminal background or history checks
• Works directly with law enforcement agencies.
• Works with the Probation and Court Service departments to inform, update, educate and support their efforts in cases.

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