Crime Victim Advocacy
Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.
All states receive Federal funds from the Office for Victims of Crime to help support local victim assistance and compensation programs. The Lakes Crisis and Resource Center receives funding through the State of MN to provide advocacy support to crime victims in Becker County. Our crime victims’ programming assists individuals and families who are affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and general crime situations. Our crime victims’ services are free and confidential.
LCRC offers a 24-hour crisis hotline where trained advocates will listen, support and provide you with information. Personal advocacy and couseling referrals are available to help with emotional trauma. We offer support groups for children dealing with abuse, divorce, foster care, anger management and other high risk situations. We also offer assistance with Orders for Protection.
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Sexual Assault is any unwanted, forced, coerced, or manipulated sexual contact, touch, and/or penetration against one’s will. It includes any type of victimization of a sexual nature, from sexual harassment to rape.
The types of sexual assaults can vary and include: date/acquaintance rape, alcohol/drug facilitated rape, intimate partner sexual violence, sexual harassment, incest and child sexual abuse.
If you have been sexually assaulted, do not bathe, douche, change clothes, clean up, eat or drink which may destroy possible evidence. Contact a hospital to get an emergency medical exam for treatment of injuries, STDs and pregnancy. Write down details about the assailant and circumstances of the assaullt as soon as possible.
The General Crime Program is for crime victims who do not fit into the category of domestic violence or sexual assault. Specific examples of general crime are harassment, terroristic threats, burglary, robbery, fraud, kidnapping, arson and elder abuse. Other examples include trespassing, disturbing the peace, vandalism and assault.
Victims may be eligible for financial assistance from the state known as reparations if they have suffered economic loss as a result of a crime. Victims can also request the court to order the defendant to provide financial compensation for the victim known as restitution.