Philadelphia to Get LGBTQ Victim Advocate

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

This is huge news for LGBTQ Philadelphians and visitors to our city: Center City Crime Victim Services (CCCVS) has announced that they are creating a full-time Victim Advocate position that will serve LGBTQ crime victims within Philadelphia.

According to press materials from CCCVS:

“Understanding the varied concerns facing LGBT crime victims, the LGBTQ Victim Advocate will serve to foster a sense of safety and support for victims that face complex barriers to reporting crime and participating in the criminal justice process. In addition to serving individual victims, the LGBTQ Victim Advocate will work to establish greater awareness and education surrounding the rights of all crime victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania…We are critically aware of the impact crime has on the LGBT community…Through community outreach and education in conjunction with individual services, we are seeking to educate and empower LGBT victims of crime.”

The new victim advocate will attend community meetings, provide education for the LGBTQ community on CCCVS services, attend hearings at the Criminal Justice Center, assist victims in a variety of ways, advocate for victims, and maintain a positive working relationship with members of the District Attorney’s Office and the Mayor’s Office for LGBT Affairs.

“We are thrilled to be able to serve the entire LGBT community here in Philadelphia through specialized advocacy within Center City Crime Victim Services,” said Executive Director Sherry Hunter. “Through collaborative efforts with the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, we are looking to increase crime reporting, educate community members and provide services, both directly and through referrals amongst the LGBT community.”

Mayor Michael Nutter also weighed in on the new position, saying he is “thrilled that Philadelphia will have a full-time victim advocate to address the specific and diverse needs of the LGBT community by providing services to victims.”

“Here in our city and nationwide, LGBT individuals are too often the victims of violent crime,” Nutter continued. “We understand that there are many barriers to the LGBT community reporting crime and complex concerns faced by victims as they move through the criminal justice system. From working to create a police department that respectfully serves and protects LGBT individuals to fostering partnerships between the community and law enforcement, we are responding to this unacceptable violence on many fronts and the new Victim Advocate will help us in this work.”