Halifax County Seal  
     COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY
     County of Halifax, Virginia
 
 

 

 

VICTIM/WITNESS PROGRAM INFORMATION

The mission of the Halifax Victim/Witness Assistance Program is to advocate for and empower individuals who have been victimized by crime in the county of Halifax. We will provide assistance to any person who has suffered directly or indirectly, a physical, emotional, or personal loss as a result of a criminal act.  We will provide services through education and collaboration with community agencies and organizations.  The staff of this program will strive to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime are treated with respect, empathy, and compassion while they are involved in the criminal justice system as it is mandated by the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights.


ABOUT THE PROGRAM

WHAT THE VICTIM/WITNESS PROGRAM DOES

TIPS ON TESTIFYING

LOCAL CONTACT NUMBERS

HOW YOU CAN HELP

STUDENT INTERN PROGRAM

 


ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Halifax Victim/Witness Assistance Program is available to help you understand the court process, your rights, and your role as a victim or witness.   The advocate serves as a liaison between you, law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney.

Whether you are a victim or a witness of a crime, you are likely to feel a sense of frustration with the criminal justice system.  The criminal justice system is often confusing, and we know that you may have special needs and questions related to your involvement in the justice system.  The advocate is trained to assist you, and the program was developed to ensure that your rights are enforced and that you receive answers to questions that you may have.  All information disclosed will be confidential, unless specifically advised otherwise.  This web page was written to familiarize you with the services provided by our program.

All services are provided at no cost.


WHAT THE PROGRAM DOES

  • Provide on-scene crisis intervention

  • Provide emotional support to victims and families during crisis

  • Provide information for obtaining a protective order

  • Assist with safety planning in leaving or remaining in a domestically violent situation

  • Make referrals to support groups, shelters, and other local agencies and services

  • Assist with filing Criminal Injuries Compensation claims

  • Accompany the victim to court and be present during the court session to provide support

  • Arrange meetings with family members and prosecuting attorneys to discuss individual case information

  • Provide courtroom tours for child victims

  • Assist with completing Victim Impact Statements

  • Assist with seeking restitution

  • Assist with obtaining separate waiting areas during court proceedings

  • Provide notification of the defendant's status if he/she is being held in jail

 Important: A victim may obtain confidentiality at the time of an arrest by filing a Request for Confidentiality by Crime Victim form (DC-30) with the magistrate, court, Commonwealth's Attorney, or law enforcement agency.


TIPS ON TESTIFYING

  • Tell the truth.  Don't pause to figure of if your answer will hurt or help the case.

  • Try to recall what happened and picture the scene and the objects there.  Don't try to memorize your testimony; simply be prepared to tell what happened in your own words.

  • Speak clearly and loudly.  If you did not hear the question or understand it, ask the attorney to repeat it

  • Answer only the questions asked of you.  Do not volunteer information and stop immediately if the judge interrupts or a attorney objects to a question

  • Do not guess or speculate.  If you do not know the answer, say so.  If you give an estimate on time or distance, be sure everyone knows you are estimating.  Just answer truthfully, to the best of your memory.

  • Be courteous.  Try to remain calm and do not lose your temper. Being polite makes a good impression.
     


LOCAL CONTACT NUMBERS

Halifax County Commonwealth's Attorney's Victim Assistance Line: 434-476-3393

Halifax County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office: 434-476-2139

Halifax Court Services Office: 434-476-3390

Halifax County Sheriff's Office: 434-476-3334

Town of South Boston Police: 434-575-7372

Town of Halifax Police: 434-476-2526

Virginia State Police: 434-476-1887


HOW YOU CAN HELP

The Halifax Victim/Witness Assistance Program is always in search of volunteers to assist in contacting victims of crime.  Volunteers provide emotional support and information regarding available resources.  Although contact is made primarily via telephone, volunteers are sometimes asked to accompany victims to court or assist with office walk-ins.

Please contact the Victim/Witness office if you are interested in this unique and rewarding volunteer opportunity.  No experience is necessary - training and resources are provided. 


STUDENT INTERN PROGRAM

College students in need of at least 150 hours of work experience have the opportunity to fulfill their internship requirements with the Victim's Assistance Program.  Interested students should seek information through their faculty advisors or by calling the Victim's Assistance Program at 434-476-3393.

 

 
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