The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has greatly increased its ability to support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking with the addition of a new, grant-funded Victim Advocate from the Crisis Call Center working directly out of the Sheriff’s Detective Division.
“Connecting victims with an advocate as soon as possible after the crime lessens the possibility of further victimization and lets the victim know that they are supported,” Victim Advocate Sally Walker said.
“Housing an advocate directly out of the Sheriff’s Office greatly enhances our ability to respond to the victim’s needs,” she said.
Walker’s position within the Sheriff’s Detective Division is funded for two years by a federal STOP Violence Grant administered through the Nevada Attorney’s General Office. Walker has over three and a half years of advocacy experience with the Crisis Call Center. The Crisis Call Center applied for the grant as part of its ongoing partnership with the Sheriff’s Office because of the importance of providing immediate advocate support for victims.
“Advocates act in the best interests of the victims beginning with safety and furthering those interests by connecting and referring victims to the many resources throughout the community, thereby empowering the victim to become a survivor,” Walker said.
With the help of funds raised by the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Leadership Reno Sparks class, the Sheriff’s Office is also converting a former detectives briefing area into a new “victim’s room.” The Victims Room is designed as a safe and comfortable place for victims and their families to wait while crime reports are being completed and additional resources are sought on their behalf.
Walker is asking the community for donations to help with the operation of the victim’s room and to help sustain victims during the turbulent transition period that follows crimes of this nature. Items needed for donation include:
* Diapers & Pull-ups (all sizes)
* Baby formula
* Bottles and sippy cups
* Boy baby and toddler clothes
* Clothes for older children, particularly teenage boys
* Blankets, quilts and sleeping bags for all ages
* Notebooks that children and young adults may use for journals
Anyone with donations is asked to contact Sally Walker at (775) 325-6454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrates 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 24th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.