By Nick Nunn staff writer
Vicki Lynn, a victims’ advocate for Morgan County, presented an overview of her work accomplished in 2013 to the Board of Commissioners at their monthly meeting on Feb. 18.
As a victims’ advocate, Lynn assists victims of crimes by connecting them to available resources and programs for which they are eligible.
Lynn contacts victims after an incident report is filed and comes to the district attorney’s office. According to Lynn, a total of 416 victims were served in 2013 and a total of 3,695 services provided for them.
In 2013, $142,000 of funding was made available by the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program for use by Morgan County victims.
The money was used to cover victims’ medical bills, counseling, funeral expenses and economic losses, said Lynn.
The Victims’ Advocate program helped secure $139,594 in restitution for victims as well.
Lynn works with victims of rape, domestic abuse, child molestation, violence crime, and even helps businesses who are victimized by embezzlement, burglary, and vandalism.
“Our work isn’t just with individuals, but with businesses as well. Small businesses are important to Morgan County. It’s important to help them regain some of their losses because of crimes,” said Lynn.
“We walk victims through the legal process and help them apply for economic support, make funeral arrangements, and direct them to support groups,” said Lynn.
“We want to walk victims through the legal process, which isn’t always quick, to ensure they are not re-victimized. The legal system can be incredibly intimidating.”
Ellen Warren, BOC member, praised Lynn for her work. “I know how closely you work with the sheriff’s department–many of these cases would not have been prosecuted without your help because the victims are so intimidated,” said Warren.
“Thank you for the job you have done.” “It’s wonderful to help these victims,” said Andy Ainslie, chairman of BOC. “This gives the victims a chance to have some assistance.” “Our goals for 2014 are to to keep serving the victims of Morgan County to provide these services. We don’t want to see a victim re victimized. The legal system can be time-consuming and confusing. That’s why I am here to answer questions and walk victims through the process,” said Lynn.