DV Court Support Program -- San Fernando
Overview: For any crime victim, navigating the legal process can be intimidating. In a domestic violence case, the process usually feels even more overwhelming because of the close relationship between the Victim and the Defendant, and the complicated nature of the impact of abuse. The Victim Support Program ensures that a person does not have to go through this process alone. Trained volunteers offer victim support in the courtroom and beyond by providing information, resources, and referrals to misdemeanor cases.
Program Description: Trained volunteers provide support to victims of domestic violence involved in the misdemeanor criminal court process, and facilitate referrals to resources to address the impact of the abuse.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities: After completion of volunteer training, DV Court Support Volunteers will educate victims about the court process and help ensure victims understand what is happening in the case, facilitate communication between victims and legal staff, accompany victims to hearings and offer emotional support, provide resources and referrals, and offer information about safety planning. Volunteers also maintain records and document the services provided through the DV Court Support Program.
- Court hours are Monday – Friday 8:30 – 4:30. Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of one weekly 4½ shift from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm, with occassional and optional on-call hours in the afternoons when a case goes to trial.
- Must make a minimum commitment of 9 months, with preference given to volunteers who can commit to at least 1 year.
- Attendance at bi-monthly (6 per year) supervision meetings is required.
- All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
- Volunteers must have completed High School, obtained a GED, or equivalent experience.
- All volunteers will be fingerprinted and must pass a criminal background check. Applicants against whom an active Domestic Violence Protective Order had been issued are not eligible for this program.
- This is a program run by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, a prosecutorial agency. All cases handled in this program are handled within the Criminal Justice system. Individuals who are uncomfortable working in a criminal courthouse, with law enforcement, or on cases in which defendants may be subject to incarceration should not apply.
- Volunteers are required to dress in court-appropriate attire.
- Training about the legal system, domestic violence, and the role of a support volunteer will be provided. Completion of this training is a requirement for volunteering.
- The good feeling that comes from helping someone.
- Hands-on experience providing victim support in a prosecutor's office.
- For students, there may be an option to receive academic credit for your volunteer service.
*This project is created, organized and managed by our nonprofit partner. Once you click on EXPRESS INTEREST below a staff person from that organization will contact you to follow up.
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