KSP victim advocate program advances, Post 16 position sits unfilled

November 9, 2020 | 12:10 am

Updated November 8, 2020 | 9:14 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Last year, the Kentucky State Police launched a program to connect victims of crime and domestic violence with patient ears and trusted guidance. The state agency employed 16 victim advocates to be stationed at each of KSP’s 16 posts.  

The advocates help victims navigate the judicial system and connect them to local resources, including mental health services, crisis intervention or legal support. They also help detectives conduct interviews. 

“They’re kind of a liaison between the detective and the victim of a case,” said Corey King, public affairs officer for KSP Post 16. 

Advocates ideally bring a gentle, less stigmatized demeanor than cops to diverse situations, including those involving children. They work with victims, families and witnesses from the investigative stage of the crime until well after the case has been adjudicated.

Since initiating the Victim Advocate Support Services (VASS) program in late 2019, KSP advocates have assisted about 1,000 individuals statewide. 

KSP Post 16, which serves Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Ohio, McLean and Union counties, is currently without an advocate. 

The initial hire moved to a different position within the state police in July, and KSP has since been searching for individuals with social work or education experience, according to King. 

“When we hire, we want to make sure it’s a good, quality candidate,” King said. “Time is on our side for that. We’re a fortunate area. We’re not quite as busy as other posts.” 

Domestic violence is widespread statewide and nationally. About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have reported experiencing contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent survey on intimate partner and sexual violence. It’s generally considered underreported. 

“Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate between socio-economic status, race or location whether you’re rural or urban,” Danielle Perkins, Victim Advocacy and Support Justice Program administrator, said in a press release. “We provide our victims with the support they need.”

November 9, 2020 | 12:10 am

Share this Article

Other articles you may like