Victim Advocacy is an important function of assisting our citizens when a crime occurs against them. Our Advocates are available to assist both law enforcement officials and victims during this sensitive time.
Our office is located in the Sheriffs Office at the courthouse, 100 W.Third Street. Our office hours are 8:00 until 5: 00 Monday- Friday.
What is a Victim and a Victim Advocate?
A victim is the principle client of the criminal justice system; without their cooperation, there is no justice and no justice system. Advocates play a significant role in improving the treatment of victims within the criminal justice system.
A victim advocate is a professional that represents the rights and interest of crime victims. An advocate works with victims as a first responder, informing a victim of their rights, serving as a liaison between the victim and the officers investigating their case or with other agencies, helping victims cope with the consequences of the crime, answering victims questions, explaining the court procedures and being with the victim through the court process and even after sentencing.
A victim advocate provides information to the victim and referrals to other agencies that provide support services to the victim. Also, assistance is provided in filling out victim compensation paperwork to victims that qualify. The advocate can intercede
with an employer to explain time missed from work due to cooperating with a law enforcement investigation or court procedure.
A victim advocate in law enforcement may have to share any information with the deputy’s or investigators. All advocates must report certain types of information to law enforcement to include any type of threat to a person (client threatening to hurt themselves or someone else) and in addition to the abuse or neglect or abuse of children.
How Advocates Work With Victims
An Advocate can offer victims information about different options and services available to them. Advocates do not tell victims what to do, they provide assistance and guidance to victims so that they can make informed decisions during very stressful times. Advocates maintain the highest level of confidentiality possible. If you are a victim it may be tough for you to reach out for help. Victim advocates offer support and information concerning access to services in your community. The Pitt County Sheriffs office advocates are certified through the North Carolina Victim Service Practitioner Academy.
The Role Of The Advocate
Provide information on victimization
Provide information on crime prevention
Provide information on victims’ legal rights and protections
Provide information on the criminal justice system
Provide emotional support to the victims and their family
Provide information on safety planning
Assisting victims or family members with victims compensation applications
Assisting victims in finding shelter and transportation
Assist with Domestic Violence Protective Orders/No Contact Orders
Intercede with creditors, landlords and employers on behalf of the victim
Providing referrals for services/resources the victim may need
Assist with property returns
Provide case status updates
Assisting with funeral arrangements
Assist with Line-of- Duty Death
Our Investigators and our Advocates are members of the Pitt County Sexual Assault Response Team; the Pitt County Domestic Violence Network; the Pitt County Human Trafficking Task Force as well as the North Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking. The victim advocate is apart of the Criminal Investigative Division in the Pitt County Sheriffs Office.
Types of Victims Our Office Assist
Surviving family members of homicide victims and victims of Sexual Assault/Statutory Rape, Child Abuse, Robbery, Breaking & Entering, Larceny, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Human Trafficking, Felony assault, and Identity Fraud.
Our History of the Victim Advocates Unit
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate program is one of the two oldest programs in the state of North Carolina. The program was started in June 1986 with a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission. This grant was applied for by our Sheriff in 1986, Sheriff Ralph Tyson; District Attorney, Tom Haigwood; Administrative Officer of the Court, Bill Nicholls, Jr.; Judge Reed, the Chief Resident Superior Court Judge and the PCSO Crime Prevention Officer, Tim Copeland . The first advocate to fill the position was Cynthia Doctor who was here from July of 1986 until July 1987 ; Angela Brown served from August 1997 until November 1998; Rosemary Haddock(our longest serving advocate was here from November 1988 until her retirement in January 2010. Our current advocate, Leigh Place, worked as a intern here in 1991-1992. Ms. Place worked at the Pitt County Detention Center from March 1993 until August 1999. She became the assistant victim advocate in September 1999. Ms. Place became the victim advocate in February 2010. Ms. Sharon Singleton began her career with law enforcement in September 1998 as a Telecommunicator for Greenville Police Department. In November 2001 she went to work for the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office as a Telecommunicator until August of 2008 when she worked as a Standards Officer until November 2009. Ms. Singleton became the assistant victim advocate in December 2009.
Websites of Interest