The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office established the Victim Advocate Program in 1996 as a first responder unit to provide immediate assistance for the many problems people face after becoming victims of crime. Studies have shown that victims and witnesses often experience trauma resulting from a crime. It can be increased by their involvement with the criminal justice process. They often feel isolated and confused and do not know where to turn for practical advice or support. Further, crime victims often need immediate help with items such as food, clothing or temporary housing. Bad things happen every day, but the Victim Advocate tries to make it a little easier to deal with. The Victim Advocate provides assistance on a 24 hour-a-day basis to victims and their families who may need on-scene or follow-up crisis counseling, criminal justice support or post-conviction support.
The Sheriff's Office Victim Advocate is often one of the first to respond to a crime scene to assist victims and survivors. During this critical time victims may experience a wide range of feelings and emotions and the Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate program can assist in many ways:
The Victim Advocates are funded through a Victim of Crime Act grant by the Department of Justice and administered by the Florida Attorney General's Office. The funding comes from fines and forfietures from criminal activities.
For more information about the Victim Advocate Program, contact Paige Strickland at (850) 745-7129, Stacy Harvey at (850) 745-7128 or 850-745-7100.