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Home  |  News  |  “Building Unity in the Community” – Victim’s Assistance Unit Helps Children Feel Safe During Times of Crisis

“Building Unity in the Community” – Victim’s Assistance Unit Helps Children Feel Safe During Times of Crisis
Friday, May 27, 2011

 
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC - “Building Unity in the Community” – Victim’s Assistance Unit Helps Children Feel Safe During Times of Crisis, by Sheriff Leon Lott.

As your Sheriff, I am always looking for ways to protect citizens in our communities, especially our children. Often, during a crisis or disturbance the children are arterially affected from the incident. We must make sure that not only do the children survive but overcome the psychological and physical issues that often arise. To this end, members of the Richland County Sheriff's Department Victims Assistance Unit are committed to helping our children by saving them from traumatic situations.
Lieutenant Heidi Scott has been with the Victims Assistance Unit for about 8 years. She hopes the services they offer make a real difference with in the community.
"I felt working with Victim Services was a natural fit for me. When you have a diverse group of law enforcement officers, as we do at the Department, you can find the right fit for what you are good at," says Scott.

Scott says the Unit's responsibilities include removing children from situations where a parent may be involved in a crime; and recovering lost children, getting them to the appropriate guardian. But most importantly she says they help keep the children calm and comfortable during times of crises. Victim Advocates playing with them or even change clothing and diapers before they're removed from the home.
"A lot of what law enforcement does is reactive. This is something proactive we can do to make sure the children feel safe and are not caught in the middle of a bad situation," says Scott.

Scott says they offer parents/guardians tips on what trauma symptoms they should look out for and will help them find an appropriate advocate to help.

For more information on the Victims Assistance Unit visit our website at www.rcsd.net/inv/vicassistance.htm

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPSC". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


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