The sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one is a most difficult time for family members, friends, and loved ones of the deceased.  When that loss is the result of a criminal act, suicide, or violent accident the tragedy becomes unbearable.  All too often those who are closest to victims see a criminal justice system that carefully guards the rights of the accused and leaves them to grieve and try to make sense out of the act of violence that has taken a son, husband, or mother. 

The Sheriff's Office has long recognized the special needs and concerns of family members of those who have lost a loved one in the commission of a crime, accident, or suicide. The agency has a small but dedicated cadre of Victim Advocates who stand ready to render assistance to family members who have lost a loved one through violent act or unforeseen accident.  They are trained to support grieving families and provide them with a light to help them find their way of out of one of the darkest days in their lives and assist them in understanding the complexities of the investigative and judicial processes.  

  

  

The Victim Advocate Unit provides support services for victims and families due to the trauma of victimization. The Advocates are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, to assist victims of crime and their families. The Victim Advocates make referrals based on the victims specific needs, provide assistance obtaining emergency food, shelter, clothing and medical help; tourist based assistance with document replacement, ID’s, credit cards and shelter; court accompaniment for victims during trial periods and assistance with applications for crime compensation or private insurance. Advocates are available to assist all law enforcement agencies in Orange County. They facilitate the Senior Spanish Crime Prevention Academy as well as other community based services. They also assist Bereaved Survivors of Homicide and handle mentoring programs for students.

In 2011, the Victim Advocate Squad responded to 16 homicides, 36 suicides, 18 death investigations, 46 natural deaths, nine baby deaths, nine drownings, three robberies, ten death notifications, one home invasion, five attempted homicides, one missing person, one sex trafficking, two sexual batteries, one domestic violence, one deputy involved shooting, three fatal car crashes, and two citizen assists.

For more information on suicides and suicide prevention please visit the following websites.

    National Institute of Mental Health

    Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition

    Suicide Prevention Resource Center


Visit the National Center for
Victims of Crime
at www.ncvc.org

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Also visit the following link:

Office for Victims of Crime
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