What is a Victim’s Advocate?

An advocate is someone who gives a voice to someone who may not be able to speak for themselves. One of the lesser-known careers in criminal justice, a victim’s advocate speaks out for victims of various types of crimes, including sexual assault, abduction, discrimination, or any other type of unwanted or unsolicited behavior. Victim’s advocates play crucial roles in ensuring that the victim is heard in situations where they may not be able to handle the situation on their own. Fear is a determining factor when it comes to how a victim handles themselves in court or during an interview. Having an advocate by there side will give them the support they need to work through the difficult times and move forward with their lives.

Victim’s Advocate Job Description

Victim’s advocates perform a variety of duties. Their first role is to support the victim as they face their battles. An advocate offers advice, attends meetings with the victim, and can go to court with the victim as needed. Advocates have access to a long list of resources a victim can use to get the help they need in overcoming the traumatic events they have faced. Advocates can help the victim with paperwork and also guide them as they start their journey of getting their lives back in order. Victims advocates are also able to help individuals get the professional services they may need if they have injuries or require more extensive counseling than what the advocate can provide.

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What Does a Victim’s Advocate Do?

A victim’s advocate is much more than someone who has a degree and can assist victims in protecting their rights. A true advocate is compassionate and sincere. They understand that the victim has undergone significant trauma and know that their level of trust is considerably low. After a person has been traumatized, it can take a very long time before they feel they are able to discuss what happened. An advocate must do more than just what their job description says. They must also listen to the victim and earn their trust and respect.

What Degrees Are Needed to Be a Victim’s Advocate?

In most situations, if you want to become a victim’s advocate, you will need to have either a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. A Criminal Justice degree provides victims advocate candidates with the education they need to provide effective counseling and support to individuals who have been victimized in one way or another. the more education a victims advocate has, the better off they will be in terms of employment opportunities.

How To Become a Victim’s Advocate?

In order to become a victims advocate, a candidate must complete either an Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. These degree programs include courses in Ethics, Psychology, Social Studies, Criminal Law, Advocacy, and many others. These classes lay the groundwork for students who are interested in helping others who have been victimized in any number of ways. Once the graduate has earned their degree, they need to fill out the application to become certified. Once that step is complete, they can begin to apply at various organizations that hire victims advocates.

Are There Different Types of Victim’s Advocates?

People fall victims to a wide variety of crimes. Rape and sexual assault victims are often too scared to speak up for fear of retaliation. Victims of assault and battery or other violent crimes also need an advocate who can speak up for them when they are not able to speak for themselves. Children who have been abused and domestic violence survivors also need advocates to speak on their behalf. Victim’s advocates are also needed for victims of discrimination and harassment.

Where Are Victim’s Advocates Employed?

Victims advocates can find employment at law offices, the courts, and legal rights organizations. Government agencies and non-profit organizations may also hire victims advocates to provide assistance to victims when they need it the most. Victims’ rights organizations have advocates on hand around the clock to support victims even when no other offices are open. The average salary for a victim advocate is approximately $50,000. Starting pay for an advocate’s job will depend on the applicant’s education as well as their past work history and experience.

Victim’s advocates play a large role in getting victims of violent crime to testify against their attackers. Advocates also play an essential role in helping victims overcome the obstacles that they face because of the crimes committed against them. Advocates who have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice can effectively assist victims in recovering their lives and bringing their attackers to justice.

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