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COUNTYWIDE : Volunteers Sought to Help Crime Victims

The district attorney’s office needs four volunteers a day to help counsel crime victims, especially women who have been abused, officials said Thursday.

The office’s Victims Services Division is looking for volunteers with backgrounds in human services, said Ellie Liston, the division’s senior advocate.

Employees field about 4,000 calls each month from victims of violent crime, including 1,200 domestic violence victims, she said.

Volunteers attend a 40-hour training program over three weeks to learn crisis prevention counseling and criminal justice procedures such as how to help victims fill out restraining orders, she said.

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The division opened in 1979 under Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury. Volunteers have been invaluable in assisting victims, he said.

Volunteers do not conduct long-term counseling but help victims shortly after the crime and then refer them to professionals, Liston said.


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