Victim Advocate Volunteers Needed County-wide
The Victim/witness advocate program administered by the Mohave County Attorney’s office is always looking for citizen volunteers to support its mission throughout northwest Arizona. Advocates frequently assist those who experience tragic loss or are victimized by crime.
``We walk into people’s trauma at the worst time in their lives. One of our jobs is to understand and recognize that trauma and help the victim through it,” said Tiffany Barker, Volunteer Coordinator. ``These are the very people who’ve been held at gunpoint, robbed, raped, assaulted, kidnapped and murdered. So there’s a human side to this.”
Barker said another primary role of advocates is to help victims who request help navigating through the often long and confusing legal process. She said advocates help victims know when legal proceedings are scheduled and can also explain their outcomes.
``Courts speak their own language. They speak legalese,” Barker said. ``A hearing can be over in two minutes flat and you have victims that sometimes have no idea what just happened.”
Barker said volunteers engage in extensive training to provide them the tools and skills they’ll need as advocates. She said being a good listener with empathy and common sense are most important.
Volunteers are free to choose whether to involve themselves in crisis or court system environments and are not necessarily confined to one role or another. ``What is most important to our program and to our volunteers is that they are doing work that is meaningful to them and that benefit victims of crime," Barker said.
Anyone interested in exploring possible volunteer roles in the victim/witness advocate program should contact Barker (928-718-4967 or email@example.com).