Advice for Advocates:
When the Victim is a Child

Working with victims of crime is inevitably a difficult task. Bearing witness to another person’s pain and loss and supporting them through the aftermath of a crime requires a special gift. The impact on you, the victim advocate, when the victim is a child may often bring added difficulties and challenges. What makes these cases different?

In a nutshell, children are innocent victims and you, the advocate, have deep empathy.What can you do to ensure that these young victims are treated kindly, gently, with respect and prevent further victimization?

Our job is to be emotionally healthy enough for children at their time of need and then, being mindful of a child’s resilience following trauma, to step back and let them continue their journey.

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This article is submitted by Dr. Jennie Barr, Mental Health and Program Specialist for the Crime Victim Services Division.