Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Victim Support Volunteer: Description of Role and Responsibilities
Description of Duties
A Victim Support Volunteer (VSV)) will provide support to victims of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office at courthouses throughout the City of Los Angeles.
VSVs are currently being recruited for the following location:
Van Nuys Courthouse
14400 Erwin Street Mall, Van Nuys
VSVs will provide one-on-one direct services, which may include, but are not limited to:
- Contacting and meeting with victims to help them understand the court process;
- Working closely with service providers in the community to facilitate referrals and ensure that victims connect with the resources they need, including domestic violence shelters, counseling, civil restraining orders, and other services related to the impact of the abuse;
- Identifying problems that discourage or prohibit a victim from testifying (e.g.: lack of child care, lack of transportation, safety concerns) and connecting victims with resources available to assist in addressing these barriers;
- Referring victims to the City Attorney Victim Assistance Program to obtain emergency funds and loss reimbursements;
- Working closely with Deputy City Attorneys to assist them in arranging a victim’s transportation to court and providing accompaniment and support throughout the court process;
- Working to ensure delivery and understanding of criminal protective orders issued by the Court;
- Informing victims about the resolution of the case and terms of sentence (when applicable);
- Keeping and updating documentation to reflect services offered and provided.
The volunteer will also assist with projects in Victim Support Program as they arise.
- Volunteer shifts are available Monday - Friday 8:30 - 1:00. VSVs must be able to commit to a minimum of one weekly 4½ hour shift (preferably on the same day each week), with preference given to volunteers who can commit to additional time.
- Volunteers must make a minimum commitment of 9 months, with preference given to volunteers who can commit to 1 year.
- Attendance at bi-monthly (6 per year) supervision meetings is required.
- Training about the legal system, domestic violence, and the role of a support volunteer will be provided. Completion of this training is a requirement for volunteering.
- All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
- Volunteers must have completed High School, obtained a GED, or have equivalent experience.
- All VSVs will be fingerprinted and must pass a criminal background check. Applicants against whom an active Domestic Violence Protective Order (criminal or civil) has been issued are not eligible for this program.
- This program is run by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, a prosecutorial agency. All cases are handled within the Criminal Justice system. Individuals who are uncomfortable working in a criminal courthouse, with law enforcement, or on cases in which defendants may be subject to incarceration should not apply.
- Volunteers are required to dress in court-appropriate attire.
- VSVs must be able to work closely and harmoniously with members of the public, personnel from government and non-profit agencies, interoffice personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, and court personnel.
- The position requires the ability to work with victims who have experienced abuse and to support them through stressful situations, including participation in the Criminal Justice system. Empathy, patience and the ability to maintain discretion and confidentiality are required.
- The communities the City Attorney’s Office serves are very diverse. Acceptance of and willingness to provide assistance to all victims is required.
- VSVs should have excellent organizational skills, the ability to exercise independent judgment and work well under pressure with a minimum of supervision. Personal initiative and sound judgment are required. Applicants should possess excellent interpersonal skills and telephone presence, be capable of multi-tasking, and paying close attention to detail.
- Volunteers that reflect the diversity of the community are highly desired.
- Bilingual volunteers are highly desired to meet the needs of non-English speaking victims.
The Office is committed to equal opportunity in all phases of its employment practices. As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.
Emily Janes, Coordinator, Victim Support Program
201 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1300
Los Angeles, CA 90012