The Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit’s Vicki Lynn takes a stand in local courtrooms on behalf of victims
ou are not alone.
That’s the message that Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Victims’ Advocate Vicki Lynn lives for and what she wants residents to know if they find themselves the victim of a crime.
“When you’re a victim of a crime, the last thing you want to have happen is be re-victimized going through the legal system,” she said.
Lynn assists victims who are testifying against their perpetrator in court or have been affected in some way by a crime, and so far, she has provided service to 214 victims in Morgan County.
Some of her responsibilities include calling victims to inform them of the court calendar and other important dates, providing references for licensed counselors and psychologists but most of all putting them at ease and making them feel comfortable.
“I’m here to hold their hand to walk them through it,” Lynn said. “Victims are entitled to know or have an input and to say what their feelings are.”
Though the prosecution walks witnesses and victims through the legal system, it is the responsibility of the victims’ advocate to provide a support service that a lawyer cannot fulfill.
Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting next to someone as he or she prepares to take the witness stand. Other times it is a comforting phone call the day before a big trial.
“Her first priority and her first focus is on the safety and the well being of the victim,” said Assistant District Attorney Alison Burleson. “I don’t think I could do [what I do] without her.”
Lynn began her career in the medical field but branched out into volunteer programs at community shelters.
As Victims’ Advocate, Lynn also assists those who are eligible for the Georgia Victims’ Crime Compensation Program, which aids in the financial costs of counseling or medical expenses.
Morgan Memorial Hospital directly works with the program to insure that victims’ medical bills are paid in full. If you are a victim of a crime or know someone who has been victimized, you can contact Lynn at the Morgan County Courthouse at 706-342-5071 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed in the August 23, 2012 edition