What are the best victim advocate qualifications and training to get ahead?

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What is the best training for becoming a victim advocate? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective victim advocate?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

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Diane Olmstead in Endicott, New York

84 months ago

The New York State Deptarment of Health certifies victim and rape crisis advocates and counselors. Check for your state mandate on the Violence Against Women Act.

Also, on the web search:

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

I am a non-traditional employee of our local victim advocacy agency. I work part-time to coordinate a county-wide Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) that responds 24-hours a day. I am a mobile worker with a wireless laptop, and I frequent the emergency rooms, police stations, and university. I respond to direct requests for victim accompaniment, speaking and teaching opportunities, and advocacy of unlimited kinds for anyone experiencing a crime. You may contact me at: diane@cvac.us

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mary z in New Port Richey, Florida

84 months ago

Diane Olmstead in Endicott, New York said: The New York State Deptarment of Health certifies victim and rape crisis advocates and counselors. Check for your state mandate on the Violence Against Women Act.

Also, on the web search:

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

I am a non-traditional employee of our local victim advocacy agency. I work part-time to coordinate a county-wide Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) that responds 24-hours a day. I am a mobile worker with a wireless laptop, and I frequent the emergency rooms, police stations, and university. I respond to direct requests for victim accompaniment, speaking and teaching opportunities, and advocacy of unlimited kinds for anyone experiencing a crime. You may contact me at: diane@cvac.us


I am very interested in this type of career, what kind of schooling is involved. I am currently enrolled in the ciminal justice courses, my son was killed last year by a reckless driver and the advocate I had, I just adored, she was there any time I needed her and when ever.

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SAFE Coordinator in Binghamton, New York

84 months ago

I am currently working on my BS in Human Development, with a focus on community development. However, I have included microbiology (especially relative to HIV), DNA (forensic), anatomy and physiology, along with many psychology and ethics courses. I am more medical advocacy than criminal justice, but have a working knoweldge of both, which is real helpful in the field. Photography and statistics also have a roll if you're interested.

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mindora maddox in Detroit, Michigan

71 months ago

I am in the process of changing job careers, from Ford Motor company and I really would like to become a member of the victim advocate career. I have always loved helping people and I am currently attending a community college to prusuit a degree in criminal justice. Do you know of any places where I can volunteer my time?
Thank you.
mtm1472@yahoo.com

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sweetpunx in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

70 months ago

mindora maddox in Detroit, Michigan said: I am in the process of changing job careers, from Ford Motor company and I really would like to become a member of the victim advocate career. I have always loved helping people and I am currently attending a community college to prusuit a degree in criminal justice. Do you know of any places where I can volunteer my time?
Thank you.
mtm1472@yahoo.com

You can volunteer or work in Mt. Clemens, MI at Turning Point, it's a women's crisis center. I'm about to move to CA and I have no idea how to find victim advocate jobs out there.

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

69 months ago

sweetpunx in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan said: You can volunteer or work in Mt. Clemens, MI at Turning Point, it's a women's crisis center. I'm about to move to CA and I have no idea how to find victim advocate jobs out there.

Any state provides funding for victims through the state Crime Victims Board (CVB). They can refer you to agencies who are providing services to victims within their jurisdiction. There is also a federal office for victims of crime (OVC)under the Department of Justice. Both usually offer links to programs.

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Kevin Steele in Pima, Arizona

67 months ago

I will graduating with my AA in Criminal Justice this October and will start on my BA in Human Services/Management the following month. Am I taking the right steps to be a victims' advocate? I would like to leave my job and start to wrok towards my goals but how can I go about this? Any suggestions are welcome!!!!

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mary lou mcdermott in Charleston, South Carolina

67 months ago

sheila in Boston, Massachusetts said: HI! I am have been layoff for about a year now and I have always wanted to work with victims of crime or abuse. I have an associate degree in business. How can I land a great position in this field? Thank you in advance!

Hi , I am a 50 year old woman living in South Carolina because my family and I were victims to a murder of my Father and it included the mafia, our victim advocste during the trial was a joke, to say the least! I have had the passion to help others in situations similar to mine and my family for a very long time, but because of the nature of the crime and my testimony and others in my family I was not able to pursue this . I've recently lost my husband and my children are almost grown, 2 out of three, and I feel this is my time to help those that have been where I've been for the last 21 years. I have so much more life experience than most people you'll ever meet, and I would love nothing more than to be a person of comfort and help to those that need it at such a time of their life, this has been my dream from the moment I stepped into a courtroom and confronted my Father's killer. My Family needed support at that time and did not get it, I am willing to volunteer, but ultimetly I would like to go back to school and be at least certified to help others get through such ordeals as I have been through, one more thing, I honestly beleive you should have a life experience before you are able to understand somebody else's trauma, and to help with the grieving,the courts, but mostly to be there for them to have someone to talk to that has been there and who has survided the whole experience. please don't ignore this note, I am a good person that has been a victim, and my life changed in ways thati cant begin top explain.
thank you,
marylou

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

67 months ago

Your credentials are exactly like my own. I am an advocate that coordinates a Sexual Asault Response Team (SART) in my county. You're right, work experience is the best teacher. Seek out your local Crime Victims Assistance organization. Most often, they run a 24-hour crisis line for victims. This is a great way to work directly from home. Training is set-up by the organization with the expectation that you will volunteer.
Secondly, rape crisis programs utilize internships, volunteers, and hopeful advocates for physical responses necessary at emergency rooms and police stations.
Lastly, ask at your district attorney's office what entity provides victim compensation claims. These claims coordinators work closely to state government.

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SweetpunX in Santa Cruz, California

67 months ago

You can volunteer at Turning Point in Mt. Clemens. Or Haven, which services Royal Oak. Or many other places in Detroit.

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scflgirl in Johns Island, South Carolina

66 months ago

Hi!
My family and I were victims as well. We lost a loved one to a serial rapist/murderer. I am currently studying criminal justice and I also live in Chas, SC. If you could email me @ scflgirl@yahoo.com I would love to share my story with you as I am curious about yours-your last name is very familiar to me.
Thank you!

mary lou mcdermott in Charleston, South Carolina said: Hi , I am a 50 year old woman living in South Carolina because my family and I were victims to a murder of my Father and it included the mafia, our victim advocste during the trial was a joke, to say the least! I have had the passion to help others in situations similar to mine and my family for a very long time, but because of the nature of the crime and my testimony and others in my family I was not able to pursue this . I've recently lost my husband and my children are almost grown, 2 out of three, and I feel this is my time to help those that have been where I've been for the last 21 years. I have so much more life experience than most people you'll ever meet, and I would love nothing more than to be a person of comfort and help to those that need it at such a time of their life, this has been my dream from the moment I stepped into a courtroom and confronted my Father's killer. My Family needed support at that time and did not get it, I am willing to volunteer, but ultimetly I would like to go back to school and be at least certified to help others get through such ordeals as I have been through, one more thing, I honestly beleive you should have a life experience before you are able to understand somebody else's trauma, and to help with the grieving,the courts, but mostly to be there for them to have someone to talk to that has been there and who has survided the whole experience. please don't ignore this note, I am a good person that has been a victim, and my life changed in ways thati cant begin top explain.
thank you,
marylou

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

66 months ago

In addition to joining other advocates in their pursuit of justice and healing for victims, you will find many websites that encourage people to tell their stories. Once such place is the Voices and Faces Project. Additionally, online training is free and available at RAINNTrain.org and you can receive a 40-hr certificate after completing OVC's ovcttac.gov/VATOon-linecourse.
I wish you great success.

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liz in Fort Pierce, Florida

63 months ago

Marylou,
I am so sorry about the loss of your father. Also, that the victim advocate assigned to your case from the State Attorney's Office was of no help to you or your family. I am sure that you would be a great victim advocate in whatever line of work you pursued.

I've been a victim advocate for ten years and can tell you that it's not easy work, can be very stressful at times, but it's a very rewarding career.

On another note, I don't feel that you need to have a "life experience" in order to understand someone's life trauma. As a victim advocate you are not there to "understand". That is not an advocate's role nor does it prove to be your level of compassion.

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E in Fayetteville, North Carolina

62 months ago

I've worked as a victim advocate for a year now. I would say the biggest thing that helped me was volunteering. I volunteered at rape crisis centers for five years while I moved and finished college (I have a BS in Human Services). I got a job 2 months after graduation as a victim advocate, my dream job. I really believe that my years as a volunteer got me this job.

Keep your eyes open for any volunteering opportunities, you often get more experience through that then you would starting out as a paid employee. Also it provides you a way to meet people in the field and make connections. Finally, volunteering allows you to "try out" the field - advocacy can be extremely draining and is not for everyone.

Good luck!

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SAFE Coordinator in Binghamton, New York

62 months ago

It is nice to hear someone speak highly of volunteer opportunities, especially in the field of victim advocacy. I believe this field is the most comprehensive area of human service. In 2009, I provided critical incident response, counseling, case management, forensic accompaniment, court accompaniment, and conducted community partnering, medical practice and outcome review, and community education and outreach. I also wrote a grant and participated in a county wide media campaign. And that was one year!

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liz in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

62 months ago

Great! I have a B.S. in Criminology which was enough to obtain employment at the law enforcement agency I work for. I've been here almost ten years. I took advantage of the Victimology courses offered on campus. I also looked into the many classes offered through the state (Office of the Attorney General)on Victim Issues... All these courses were free in the state of FL.

I guess employment requirements will vary depending on where you apply for work/agency. Best Wishes!

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SAFE Coordinator in Binghamton, New York

62 months ago

Any work that you do directly with victims will enhance your education and understanding of victimology, the criminal justice system, and concepts of trauma and recovery. All of these subjects are crucial to advocacy. Start with outreach to the speaker; they often come to colleges seeking volunteers. Jobs related to advocacy depend largely on your state's VAWA funds. Unfortunately, while the interest is often high, so is the level of burn-out; the job requires excellent supervision. You may have to learn more about the culture of specific advocacy positions before feeling like you're in the right environment. I came to my position seven years ago and knew this was the job I trained all my life for.

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Susan in Lynchburg, Virginia

61 months ago

I really like to know how can I get a job with the victim advocate program in Lynchburg,Va

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SAFE Coordinator in Binghamton, New York

61 months ago

Victims of Domestic Violence - To find help in your state, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (phone # edited out):
Please check your local phone directory.

CRISIS LINE OF CENTRAL VIRGINIA INC
P O BOX 3074 LYNCHBURG VA
(phone # edited out)

Adult Sexual Assault, Adults Molested As Children, Child Sexual Abuse Rape Crisis Assistance in Filing Compensation Claims, Criminal Justice Support Advocacy, Crisis Counseling, Crisis Hotline Counseling, Emergency Financial Assistance, Emergency Legal Advocacy, Follow-up Contact, Group Therapy, Information And Referral , Personal Advocacy, Shelter/Safe House, Telephone Contacts , Therapy

CENTRAL VIRGINIA COMMUNITY SERVICES
CHILD AND FAMILY CENTER
2215 LANGHORNE ROAD S LYNCHBURG VA 24501
(Phone # edited out)
Adults Molested As Children, Child Physical Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse Mental Health Agency Assistance in Filing Compensation Claims, Criminal Justice Support Advocacy, Crisis Counseling, Follow-up Contact, Group Therapy, Information And Referral , Personal Advocacy, Telephone Contacts , Therapy

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vagirl82 in Newport Beach, California

55 months ago

I am very interested in Victim advocacy. I majored in Criminal Justice (B.A.) with a minor in Psychology. I have heard that going back to school in a graduate program for Counseling is a good path to get experience in the idea of victim advocacy and as a career. I would like to know where in California I can find out more information on how to pursue this career path...

I had a wonderful victim advocate in High School when I was going through a traumatic experience and I have thought about doing this ever since. I know it would be highly rewarding and I would love to pursue it. Any help on the matter is much appreciated!

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Susan in Lynchburg, Virginia

54 months ago

I really don't know any thing about the Victim Advocacy program they has to offer in California. You can check with the Social Service and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck

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SAFE Coordinator in Binghamton, New York

54 months ago

(For some reason, my post from yesterday did not appear...) California has the following resource page: (www.victimcompensation.ca.gov/victims/localhelp.aspx), which locates all the victim service offices throughout the state. While many advocates are counselors, not all counselors are advocates. Let me explain; clinical psychotherapy addresses the trauma associated with victimization. There are many theraputic approaches, such as EMDR and DBT for the treatment of PTSD symptoms. However, the more social work practice of case management, structered out-patient support and accompaniment through public systems can be realized through working or volunteering at a victim service organization. Let me know if this helps.

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Victim Advocate in Scranton, Pennsylvania

53 months ago

I am a victim advocate and find it very rewarding. I love my job and even though it can be frustrating at times because the crime cannot be undone, it is great to feel you are helping someone cope with their tragedy and hopefully find a way to live a productive life and move forward after the crime has been committed upon them. If you are interested in becoming a victim advocate, I would suggest first volunteering at the local Woman's Resource Center, shelters, or a victim's resource center.

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Susan in Lynchburg, Virginia

53 months ago

I am a CASA advocate and love every thing I do and do it with a smile.

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

53 months ago

I would love to know how you became involved with advocacy. I am currently writing a column on exainer.com for the purpose of promoting advocacy leadership.

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

53 months ago

One of the greatest advocacy organizations, PCAR (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape) is located in your state.

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vagirl82 in Newport Beach, California

53 months ago

Susan in Lynchburg, Virginia said: I really don't know any thing about the Victim Advocacy program they has to offer in California. You can check with the Social Service and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck

Thank you Susan, I will check that out! :)

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Susan in Lynchburg, Virginia

53 months ago

diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York said: I would love to know how you became involved with advocacy. I am currently writing a column on exainer.com for the purpose of promoting advocacy leadership.

In Lynchburg, VA they have a CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocte)shoe sale each year and I volunteer to help out and the asst director asked me if I would be a CASA volunteer and after she explain what I would be during I jump for that chance to help abusive and neglect children. To keep them safe and put them in a family that will show them love is the best job you can get and do it free every day that shows the child that someone cared about them.

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lavelle knotchapone in Pueblo, Colorado

53 months ago

Host said: What is the best training for becoming a victim advocate? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective victim advocate?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

Yes, please! this is my dream career!

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

53 months ago

There is a great resource list for services to victims that you can access at www.ccadv.org/numbers.htm covering a good part of your area. If you ask, I'm sure many of the advocates within these agencies will advise you, if not just scoop you right up!

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knotchapone@yahoo.com in Pueblo, Colorado

53 months ago

Thank you! for your info. I will gain more infor frequently and seek more knowledge towards becoming a Victim Advocate.

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Driventohelp in Ypsilanti, Michigan

48 months ago

E in Fayetteville, North Carolina said: I've worked as a victim advocate for a year now. I would say the biggest thing that helped me was volunteering. I volunteered at rape crisis centers for five years while I moved and finished college (I have a BS in Human Services). I got a job 2 months after graduation as a victim advocate, my dream job. I really believe that my years as a volunteer got me this job.

Keep your eyes open for any volunteering opportunities, you often get more experience through that then you would starting out as a paid employee. Also it provides you a way to meet people in the field and make connections. Finally, volunteering allows you to "try out" the field - advocacy can be extremely draining and is not for everyone.

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice on volunteering.

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Susan8390g@aol.com in Lynchburg, Virginia

48 months ago

I have volunteer for CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocate)for three years. And now I want a full time job during what I love, but because I don't have a degree in that field I can't get a job. But I graduate in April in Business Management,but what good will that degree do me if I can't get a job in the field I love.

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diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York

48 months ago

I have the same degree. After having been an advocate for five years, I began a career as Coordinator for a county-wide Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). The team is a multi-disciplinary approach to serving victims of sexual violence throughout our county. Coordination utilizes all the tools learned in business management; such as effective communication, conflict resolution, motivation, and technical writing. If you think direct service to victims is challenging, try getting a dozen allied professionals around a table to agree on something! (My best advice: Bring Food!)

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Susan8390g@aol.com in Lynchburg, Virginia

45 months ago

diane@cvac.us in Binghamton, New York said: I would love to know how you became involved with advocacy. I am currently writing a column on exainer.com for the purpose of promoting advocacy leadership.
I was at an CASA Shoe Sale in April which they have every year.One of the worker asked me would I like to volunter to be a CASA Advocate and I said i had to think about it. After doing my research I knew right awway that was what I was looking for . I always since a little girl helped any and were ever I could. I grow up watching my grandma and mother give to everyone who asked them ,even if was as little as milk, food or there time. It was in my heart to do the same and I haven't stop.I want a full time job in that field , but no one will give me a chance. I even sign up to volunter but no one has given me that chance. I don't know what else to do in order for me to get in that field that I love. I have finish college in Business Management as of April 6, 2011 but really want to be in the advocate field. Can you help me with this request.

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