Our team advocates for victims by providing them with options to make informed decisions about their physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
Victim advocates support clients through the Summit County justice system and offer individualized advocacy for each client.
Advocates provide clients with education about accessing and applying for the rights afforded to victims of crime.
As a part of our advocacy services, clients have the opportunity to create an action plan. An action plan is written documentation of the client’s goals related to the aftermath of a victimization or trauma. Activities are identified by the advocate and client that will help the client reach those goals. Some may have numerous goals and activities identified, while some may have only a few.
We provide information and support during criminal trials, protection order hearings, and to those required to testify.
Victim Assistance Program has partnered with the Summit County Domestic Relations Court to support families with children seeking court protection orders. Our new program will provide families in danger of continued violence with free, immediate, unscheduled child watching while they are attending court hearings. The Children Who Witness Violence (CWWV) program will reduce barriers to seeking court protection and help kids establish a sense of security through playing and learning in a positive environment. Our dedicated Victim Advocates will also be able to address any concerns parents may have about the effects trauma can have on children.
Victims whose lives have been threatened have the right to ask courts for protection orders. These orders mandate others to avoid contact with victims. We address safety concerns and provide information about protection orders and eligibility requirements. We also help individuals complete protection order applications and accompany victims to hearings.
Victim Assistance Program of Summit County offers Safe at Home Program assistance to victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, rape, or sexual battery by shielding their personal information from the public record and providing them with a safe and secure way to participate in our democratic process. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program created by Ohio House Bill 359 to help program participants shield their address from public records. A victim or a member of a victim’s household can apply in person to take part in the program through Victim Assistance Program’s Certified Application Assistant. A parent or guardian may apply on behalf of a minor, incompetent, or ward; however, any other adult must visit an Application Assistant in person to apply.
Each state has funds to help reimburse eligible victims and their families. Victim Assistance Program assists individuals in applying for these funds administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Under the Ohio Revised Code, victims have legal rights which must be upheld by the court of law. We educate victims about their rights and will refer them to attorneys if those rights are being violated.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office oversees the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) program, which increases victims’ awareness of the status of incarcerated aggressors. Our advocates educate victims about this system and help with the registration.
GASP (Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection) is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safer environment for children through modern and effective programs designed to prevent encounters involving dangerous situations, sex offenders, abuse and abduction.” In this new partnership, Victim Assistance Program staff have the ability to administer child fingerprinting kits using GASP technology in two of our office locations. Child fingerprints are 100% confidential. Guardians will be provided with a USB flash drive to keep. VAP does not keep any of this information. Child fingerprint kits are an excellent tool for guardians to safety plan with their children. If you are interested in child fingerprinting call the hotline.