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Victim Advocates

Fairness - Dignity - Respect

Photo of the Victim Advocates Squad and the therapy dogs

The Orange County Sheriff's Office has long recognized the special needs and concerns of individuals and family members who have been victims or secondary victims of crime/traumatic loss.  As a result, the agency employs victim advocates to support all law enforcement agencies in Orange County, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.


Advocating for the Rights of Crime Victims

 

When the loss of a loved one is the result of a criminal act, the tragedy can become overwhelming and unbearable. Law Enforcement Victim Advocates are trained professionals that support grieving families. They provide a light to help grieving families find a way out of one of the darkest days in their lives. Advocates also assist families understand the complexities of the crime scene and investigative processes. They provide comprehensive victim services to victims or secondary victims of crimes/traumatic loss such as homicide, aggravated battery, domestic violence, robbery, suicide, drowning, natural death, accidental death, infant death, industrial accidents, and serious trauma or crisis.

In 2021, the Victim Advocate Squad responded to 181 crime scenes to include but not limited to: 63 natural deaths, 39 suicides, 19 homicides, 19 overdoses, and reviewed 7,614 reports to identify additional victims of crime.  Victim advocates have a responsibility to provide victim rights information and available resources to all victims, next of kin and witnesses.  They also provide the below assistance:

  • Brief crisis counseling.
  • Referrals to emergency shelter, food and clothing pantries, medical providers, social service agencies, etc.
  • Coordination of transportation to court appearances or social service agencies.
  • Court accompaniment for victims during trial.
  • Assistance completing application for Victim Compensation.
  • Accompany families to make funeral arrangements when requested.
  • Provide a resource booklet to victims/next of kin for counselors, support groups, biohazardous cleaning companies, and funeral homes.
  • Conduct death notifications to families, employers and schools.
  • Tourist advocacy.
  • Lost/Stolen Passport.
  • Tourist Related Crimes.

 


Therapy Dogs

Daisy and Saffron

A welcome addition to the Victim Advocate Program is the Orange County Sheriff’s Office very first therapy dog Saffron. Saffron offers a calming presence and a welcomed distraction to those who have been impacted by trauma, victims who are being interviewed by law enforcement, and employees who may be experiencing stress from difficult cases.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance following a crime, do not hesitate to contact us.  We are here to help.

 

For more information click here.

For additional information, referrals and resources

Office number: 407-254-7248

Email: OCSOVictimAdvocates@ocfl.net


Community Resources

New Hope For Kids Logo

 

Helps children and families cope with the feeling of grief and loss after the death of a loved one.

Grants wishes to children up to age 19, diagnose with a life-threatening illness.

Contact: 407-331-3059

Homicide Support Group

Contact: 407-221-8845

Email: bailey@astablelife.com

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Logo

 

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD)

Contact: 407-831-6233 / www.MADD.org

The Compassionate Friends Logo

 

For those who are going through the grieving process after a child dies.

Contact: (321) 439-4985

 

Harbor House works to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse in Central Florida by providing critical life-saving services to survivors, implementing and advancing best practices, and educating and engaging the community in a united front.

Traumatic Loss program – FREE – Offered to residents who have experienced a loss due to homicide, suicide, accidents, line of duty, war, terrorism, or natural disaster. Contact: 407-825-9848 / 386-425-4738

Begin Again Children’s Program – FREE

Children from age 4 – 18 who have experienced the death of someone close to them are eligible to participate. Contact 407-825-9848 / 386-425-4738

Vine logo

VINE is the nation’s leading victim notification network. It allows survivors, victims of crime, and other concerned citizens to access timely and reliable information about offenders or criminal cases in U.S. jails and prisons.

24/7 Help: 866-177-7377 / VINELink.com

Attorney General Logo

Injured crime victims may be eligible for financial assistance for medical care, lost income, mental health services, funeral expenses and other out-of pocket expenses directly related to the injury.

Contact: 1-800-226-6667

Contact your law enforcement victim advocate at: 407-254-7248

221 Logo

Contact 211 to access free and confidential crisis and emergency counseling, disaster assistance, food, health care and insurance assistance, stable housing and utilities payment assistance, employment services, veterans services and childcare and family services.

Dial 2-1-1 for assistance with food.

Contact: 407-295-1066

Kinder Logo

 

Provides behavioral therapy, counseling and support groups to young children.

Contact: 407-657-6692