The criminal justice system can be daunting for anyone, let alone someone who is experiencing the trauma of being a victim of crime. When survivors of domestic violence step into a court room, they are often coming face to face with the person who hurt them for the first time since the assault, and it can be terrifying.
As we consider the victim, who is not only seeking justice but healing, we realize there is a gap that needs to be filled in supporting them through the process. Rose Brooks Center has been providing this assistance through our Court Advocate program for over 19 years in several Jackson County courts, including Order of Protection, Municipal, and Family Courts. Advocates talk victims through what will happen in court, walk with them through court hearings and answer any questions the victim may have – and this is all before entering the court room!
The program impact is incredibly substantial to those entering the legal system. Rose Brooks’ services include, but are not limited to, safety planning, crisis intervention, assistance with community resources and filing orders of protection. We additionally provide support to victims in criminal court and protection order court in matters such as explaining court procedures, accompanying victims to hearings, assisting in filing for protection orders, assisting victims through the processes should an order be violated, and filing for Crime Victims’ Compensation.
Because of this great need, we are proud to have been a significant and respected part of the Jackson County court and legal systems for nearly two decades, standing alongside survivors like Leslie (quoted below), when they needed us most.
“We had a court appearance. I was terrified to go by myself. I was very blessed that Rose Brooks Center had a court advocate to go with me. By showing up with the advocate, it deflated his power. He was shocked that I had someone from Rose Brooks with me.” – Leslie, previous shelter resident and current survivor!