Victim Services

Karen S. Knox

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online March 2012 | | DOI:
Victim Services


According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, from 1993 to 2013 the rate of violent crime decreased from 79.8 to 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons age twelve or over. Crime victims, their families, and friends receive services in the aftermath of the traumatic incident from social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other helping professionals across a range of settings, such as law enforcement, the court systems, corrections, and probation/parole. As frontline responders on the scene, police-based victim services have unique opportunities to intervene at a critical time for intervention: immediately after the offense and during the investigation: Generally, brief, time-limited crisis intervention services and referrals for continued therapy and other services are provided by victim services programs based in law enforcement. Victim assistance services at the court level are provided during the hearings and focus primarily on case notification and advocacy, witness testimony, and crisis intervention. During the court processes, survivors, family members, and significant others may experience re-traumatization as a result of the court proceedings that bring up memories, emotional reactions, and psychological disturbance. Victim witness advocates assess and refer clients for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and grief and loss issues that indicate the need for continuing long-term therapy. Restorative justice programs are found at the corrections and probation/parole levels and provide services for crime survivors and family members that include release and parole notification, victim impact panels, victim-offender mediation, and restitution programs. However, the National Crime Victimization Survey reports that only 10 percent of victims of violent crime received assistance from a victim services agency, which was not statistically significantly different than the percentage from 2004 (14 percent).

Article.  11586 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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