Author: Matthew Jenkins
As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month winds down this week, it’s important to include a vital function within the North Carolina Department of Public Safety - Victim Services. Under the direction of Liddie Shropshire, this section of Administration provides a team of employees responsible for addressing both the functional and monetary needs of those individuals in our state who have been victimized by crime.
“It’s very common for victims to be concerned with their safety and well-being after an incident, during criminal proceedings or even after the offender has been sentenced,” stated Shropshire. “These feelings may often persist even after the offender has been incarcerated or may resurface again when the offender has served a sentence and is preparing to be released.” Through no fault of their own, crime victims unfairly experience a range of emotions as they attempt to move forward in life.
DPS provides several important programs to help victims attempt to heal, including:
Victims Compensation Services is a program that assists victims and their families heal from the devastating effects of criminal violence by reimbursing individuals who suffer medical expenses and lost wages as a result of being an innocent victim. While no amount of money can erase the trauma and grief that victims suffer, this monetary aid can be a crucial element to the recovery process by helping victims regain their lives and financial stability.
NCSAVAN, also known as the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification program, provides peace of mind to victims of crime in North Carolina. Notification and access to information pertaining to the custody status of North Carolina’s offender population. Visit www.ncsavan.org or call toll-free 1-877-627-2826 to register. Access the NCSAVAN network 24/7 by downloading the VINEmobile app to your phone today.
North Carolina General Statute §14-27.2 was passed in 2009, requiring the Rape Assistance Program to pay for the cost of all forensic medical examinations for the victims of rape.
The Victim Services Prisons, Probation and Parole Process Assistance Program assists victims and family members navigate through the correctional processes - prison, probation, parole or post-release supervision. By providing such information as an offender’s approximate release date, incarceration location, current custody level, and more, the staff addresses victims’ concerns about unwanted contact. This program also provides information to the Community Corrections section on hearing dates, restitution changes, changes in custody status, capture, discharge date or death while incarcerated.
“At the end of the day, crime victims are the innocent tragedies associated with criminal activities” said Shropshire. “North Carolina is committed to ensuring that these innocent citizens have the resources and programs necessary to assist them in recovery and finding a sense of normalcy again.”