By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was honored with a 2021 NaCO Award for its Digital Victim Advocate Program, which launched in July 2020.
According to DA Public Affairs Officer Michael Bires, crime victims who have filed a police report in San Bernardino County are assigned to a victim advocate.
“Victims can now click on a chat bubble on the district attorney’s website and be immediately connected with the victim advocate,” said Bires. “Many victims are confined to their homes due to loss of work, travel restrictions, or loss of transportation. Calling on the telephone may not be an option due to the possible likelihood of being in proximity of an abuser, however; quietly chatting with a victim advocate is an option.”
The victim advocate is also available through the DA’s social media platforms, and a video feature is in the works. To date, 537 messages have been handled through the chat feature.
“In order to ensure victims are able to quickly leave the website should an abuser approach them while on their device, we’ve also embedded a rapid exit feature to take them to an unrelated search page,” added Bires.