Victim services volunteers needed
MOHAVE COUNTY – Thousands of people have benefited from the Victim Services Program that the Mohave County Attorney’s office has administered over the last 27 years. An eight-member staff supported by a handful of volunteers provides a host of advocacy and support services for those who are victims of all forms of criminal activity, ranging from burglary to murder.
Advocates often have prolonged experiences with victims from the inception of the crime to the adjudication of the case in Court. An advocate, for instance, responded to the April 13 traffic accident that claimed the lives of two Kingman teenagers, offering comfort to many who were traumatized, both at the scene of the event and at the hospital.
Informing people of their Constitutional rights as victims is fundamental to the program. Advocates help guide people through the maze of hearings in a criminal justice system that is foreign and confusing to many.
Much of the work involves emotional and information support, according to volunteer coordinator Tiff any Barker.
“We jump into a situation that is chaotic. This is the worst day of their lives. Advocates are that stand still person in all the drama that say `when all of this is done, I’m still going to be here for you,'” Barker said. ????Our goal is always to re – empower victims through local resources, counseling or walking them through the court process. The terrible things that happen to them stay with them like a scar. Once the scab falls off, the scar remains. They will always live with the injuries inflicted upon them by a crime, but we help them understand and give them the resources they need to rebuild their lives. That’s what makes advocacy an incredible job.”
Barker said the program can use volunteers in any county community. Background checks and
training are part of the process and hours can be tailored toward what works best for the
“This is a volunteer way to get involved in your community that has meaning,” Barker said. “I
get people who come back years after they’ve gone through something saying `you changed my
life’. And it’s true … The residual of what we do is felt throughout our victim’s lifetimes.”
To volunteer, or learn more about the program, contact Barker by phone or email 928-718-4967 or BarkeT@mohave.gov.