Victim Advocate

The Victim Advocate serves victims of domestic violence from the community in a community-based setting. Intervention promotes safety, client self-determination, empowerment, and linkage to support networks of peers, agencies, providers and advocates. This position will assist the Intake Department, as needed, under the direction of the Regional Crisis Services Supervisor.

Job Responsibilities:

  1. Conduct face-to-face interviews with victims to assess life circumstances, conduct lethality assessments, safety planning, service planning and referrals for attorney legal advocacy as appropriate.
  2. Provide accompaniment to victims for securing protective orders and criminal warrants and for court appearances.
  3. Work collaboratively with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Court Services Unit in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to staff the Family Advocacy Network Services Office and to provide advocacy and support to victims from within the courthouse.
  4. Work collaboratively with and from within the Domestic Violence Unit and precincts of the police department to provide immediate and follow-up interventions to victims of domestic violence.
  5. Serve high lethality victims as part of the Virginia Beach Police Department Lethality Assessment Protocol.
  6. Maintain documentation of clients’ requests for services, intervention initiatives, service plans, and services provided and complete statistical reports.
  7. Provide training and technical assistance to the Police Department and other organizations on the issues effecting victims and victim needs.
  8. Screen requests for shelter or assistance; conduct crisis interviews with callers and walk-ins as needed and secure transportation and placement for callers who are in immediate danger, as needed.
  9. Provide information and referral to other organizations as appropriate. Advocate with other organizations for services as needed for callers.
  10. Conduct intake interviews for incoming residents. Review housekeeping, security, childcare, and house rules and all other policies with incoming residents, as needed.
  11. Accompany and orient new shelter residents to their designated shelter, as needed.
  12. Work directly with volunteers and student interns; assist with supervision, retention and appreciation efforts.
  13. Attend relevant community or Samaritan House committee meetings
  14. Other duties as assigned.

Required Background: 

  • Prefer a master’s degree in social work, counseling, criminal justice, or other related disciplines with some working knowledge of issues relating to domestic violence and the legal rights of victims.  A minimum of a B.A. or B.S. degree in social work, counseling, criminal justice, or other related disciplines with two years experience working with victims of domestic violence.
  • Must pass criminal background check. Any conviction that relates to moral turpitude will disqualify person from being hired as they will not be able to work at Virginia Beach Police Department. These include any conduct contrary to community standards of justice, honesty and/or good morals.
  • Valid Virginia Driver’s License.
  • CPR certified with adults and children within six months of hire.

Required Skills: 

  • Knowledge of and adherence to agency mission, policies and procedures, including Code of Conduct and mandatory reporting requirements.
  • Basic computer literacy/windows: Word, Excel, and Outlook etc.
  • Experience with high-paced multitasking and organizational skills
  • Versed in the dynamics of domestic violence and current teachings on power and control as it relates to domestic violence literature
  • Knowledgeable of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress as they relate to domestic abuse or sexual assault
  • Versed in the principles of empowerment and able to demonstrate this in all interactions with clients, volunteers and staff
  • Knowledgeable of the legal rights of victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault and how to assist clients in accessing the legal system
  • Ability to demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, second language is preferred
  • Ability to teach/train adults
  • Ability to work within a team model of service delivery
  • Ability to use a telephone and a computer
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and make sound decisions.
  • Maintain a reasonably clear driving record
  • Ability to maintain a current CPR certification

Required Physical Skills:

  • Incumbent should be able to work at least a 40-hour a week schedule with no physical limitations in normal ranges of sitting, standing, walking, talking, and lifting up to 25 pounds.
  • Ability to operate a motor vehicle; car, truck and van
  • Ability to conduct and participate in meetings at various locations

Salary:  Based on experience and qualifications.  This is a full-time position with benefits.

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