Mayor Scott King

Victim's Assistance Program

The Gary Victim's Assistance Program was formulated due to the alarming demand for domestic violence prevention programs in the Gary community. The program renders services on a wide scale, from those offered to assist with infant/child neglect, to those targeted to domestic violence victims as well as elderly abused and neglected citizens. Victim Assistance also serves as a support base for victims regarding the legal procedures throughout the Criminal Justice System for those victims that come forward to prosecute until final court disposition. The program also stands as a referral basis for victims of violence. Through the resources of area agencies such as the Salvation Army and domestic violence shelters, Victim Assistance has afforded numerous opportunities for assistance to victims of violence within Gary.

In addition, the program offers victims alternatives to handling domestic issues, including domestic violence counseling classes appointed through the court system, self esteem classes and psychological counseling for abuse victims.

The effectiveness of the program is measured by the statistical breakdown of primary and secondary victims. Primary victims are those individuals against whom the crime was directly committed. Secondary victims are those receiving services as a result of their needs or reactions to witnessing or having a crime directed toward a primary victim, i.e., the non-offending parent of a child abuse victim. It is also measured by the number of victims willing to cooperate with authorities.

There is a multitude of evidence reflecting the effectiveness of the program including the rising number of victims progressing with their lives emotionally, financially and spiritually. These numbers are steadily increasing each year.

The Gary Victim's Assistance Program is funded by $60,000 in federal and state funding and supports three civilian employees.

CONTACT: Vernita Brown, 1301 Broadway, Gary, IN 46407, Telephone - (219) 881-1201, Fax - (219) 881-1259.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

Copyright 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.