Daytime and/or On-Call Victim Advocate
Volunteer Advocates provide non-judgmental, practical and emotional assistance to victims of crime or tragedy. This assistance can be provided through follow up or immediate crisis intervention at the request of the RCMP and other community agencies.
Some of the essential functions performed by Volunteer Advocates include:
- Assistance in the delivery, explanation and follow up of victim impact statements, applications for financial benefits and claims for restitution;
- keeping victims informed of proceedings within the criminal justice system;
- maintaining confidentiality at all times;
- providing formalized court preparation sessions and accompaniment to court as required;
- providing information and referrals to other community agencies, and
- accurately completing written reports and records as required including updating the investigation officer of any additional information received while interacting with the victim
Volunteer Advocates receive over 100 hours of training. All training is mandatory and includes but is not limited to:
- active listening and communication skills;
- sexual assault;
- child abuse;
- domestic violence;
- suicide intervention;
- victim trauma;
- police and court system procedures; and
- crisis intervention, to name a few.
Volunteer Advocates carry cell phones and are on-call for designated periods of time. They will be called by the RCMP or other community agency and will be asked to attend and assist with victims of crime and tragedy including, for example:
- notification of next of kin,
- sudden deaths/suicides,
- family issues;
- serious motor vehicle accidents;
- domestic violence and
- sexual assault investigations.
While on call they will also be required to complete all paperwork relative to the victim’s file.
Volunteer Advocates are required to:
- have a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle;
- sign a one year contract with the program;
- completion of all security clearance forms for the RCMP;
- attend all training programs and other in-service sessions;
- have strong communication skills and provide non-judgmental support;
- have the ability to work in stressful situations, and
- maintain a high degree of professionalism, including dressing in business fashion and punctuality.
The Volunteer Advocates offer professional, caring assistance for the victims and/or their families while allowing police personnel to devote their attention and energy to the investigation at hand.