By: Muz Afzal, SE Uplift Community Engagement Coordinator & Mindy Johnston, Crime Victim Advocacy Program Manager for Lutheran Community Services NW
SE Uplift is proud to highlight Lutheran Community Services NW (LCSNW) Crime Victim Advocacy Program. The Crime Victim Advocacy Program provides support to victims of crime in the Portland Metro Region through advocacy, intervention, information and referral. Services are available to anyone who self-identifies as a victim of fraud, elder abuse, hate & bias crime, violence, burglary and other types of crimes and offenses. This program is available to anyone regardless of immigration status, race, language, income or whether the police are involved. SE Uplift believes that all neighbors should be aware of this community resource. Pllease share this resource with your neighbors, especially those most marginalized or under-represented, hence more likely to be targets of a crime.
The Crime Victim Advocacy Program with Lutheran Community Services Northwest works to support people and communities who have been victims of crime in Clark County, WA and Multnomah County, Oregon. The program provides direct and over the phone support, advocacy, information and referral, systems coordination and crisis intervention to all primary and secondary victims who are in need after a crime has been committed. Assistance also includes and is not limited to guidance on filling out and filing for crime victim compensation, the ability to attend court proceedings, cultural and legal advocacy, safety planning, community education and support to secondary victims/survivors. It is our mission to work in a restorative way within our community to help stabilize victims of crime through empowerment, education and support in order to help people move forward with their life in a positive and healthy way.
Any individual who self-identifies as a victim of crime is eligible for services with the program. This is the only eligibility criteria. All program services are available to people who have been victimized free of charge and the services will last as long as the individual wishes to receive services from the program. The individual may present as a primary or secondary victim. The victim is not required to report to law enforcement. Staff and volunteers are, however, mandatory reporters regarding child victims and vulnerable adults. There is no statute of limitations for service delivery.
Crimes types that advocates can assist with include: Arson, Assault, Burglary, Child Abuse, Elder Abuse, Fraud, Identity Theft, Kidnapping, Missing Persons, Hate and Bias Crimes, Gang Violence, Harassment, Human Trafficking/Exploitation, Drunk or Drugged Driving, Mass Violence and Homicide. The crime does not have to be reported to law enforcement and immigration status doesn’t matter. We have bilingual advocates (Congolese, French, Arabic, and Russian) and have access to interpreters of most languages.
The program provides services at our office, as well as throughout the community at events or in public locations. Because of the limited resources and supports in both Multnomah and Clark Counties for victims of crime, the program is a crucial part of the community’s safety net; responding to the needs of crime victims regardless of a crime being reported to law enforcement or being prosecuted.
To learn more about the program, visit: https://lcsnw.org/program/crime-victim-service-center/ or call 971-888-7830 to reach an advocate.