Being victimized by crime can be a traumatic experience often causing the victim to feel they have no where to turn. However, it is a goal of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to provide crime victims with resources and services to move forward with their lives.
The Sheriff’s Department is staffed with Victim Assistance Officers and coordinators tasked with the responsibility of providing crisis intervention, advocacy, and support services to crime victims. On a daily basis, incident reports are reviewed and victims are contacted either by phone or mail. Assistance offered to victims includes emotional support, referral to specific agencies for focused follow-up services, assistance with court proceedings, guidance through the criminal justice process, and help with receiving compensation for violent crimes. When requested, Victim Assistance personnel also work with the Lexington County Coroner’s Office to assist in making death notifications and to provide counseling to family members.
Victims have rights, and it is important for any crime victim to be aware of those rights. Victims and witnesses of crime have the RIGHT to:
- Be treated with dignity and compassion
- Protection from intimidation and harm
- Be informed concerning the criminal justice process and an opportunity to submit a Victim Impact Statement
- Compensation (if eligible) and/or restitution
- Preservation of property and employment
- Due process in criminal court proceedings
- Special attention for special witnesses (young, elderly, handicapped)
To speak with a Victim Assistance Officer, call the Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230.