NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK: ACPO SPONSORS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WEBINAR TO CONTINUE VICTIM SUPPORT


MAYS LANDING—The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office will sponsor  a ZOOM webinar on April 22, 2021 at 5:30 p.m., to highlight the ACPO’s continued commitment to support victims of domestic violence, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.

The ZOOM webinar will feature Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner, Brittany Lee Lewis, professor of Ethnic Studies Wilmington University & Domestic Violence Activist and Dawne Dimaro, Director of Statewide Services for Avanzar.

The ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy has serviced 424 domestic violence victims since April 15, 2021 (to date) during the Covid19 pandemic lockdown in New Jersey.  The ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy is continuing to notify victims of their rights and provide crisis intervention and referrals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Raymond Royster, Victim Witness Coordinator, Office of Victim Witness Advocacy said the ACPO continues to collaborate with local community agencies such as Avanzar, that specialize in providing crucial support services domestic violence victims and their families during times of need.

“Covid-19 continues to plague many communities. Domestic Violence victims have been forced to remain in homes with their abusers due to many of the restrictions the pandemic has thrust upon our communities. Victims are often left with what may seem like very few choices during these times. The ACPO will also be able assist victims of domestic violence during their most vulnerable time by providing them with access to a smart phone if the victim had to flee from their offender,” Royster said.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office recognizes the challenges that many domestic victims face daily and the ACPO works to make sure victims have all resources and services available to them:

-Social service referrals and advocacy. Clients need to know what agencies are available in the community to help them, and how they can access those services.

-Criminal justice advocacy/explanation of the criminal and family court process. Includes explaining why the police have to arrest in certain DV offenses, why the prosecutor’s office pursues DV cases, and discussing safety plans.

-Court accompaniment to provide advocacy and emotional support

-Advising victims of their rights as a DV victim, including their right to request a restraining order and explaining how a restraining order may assist them

-Notifying victims of court dates, outcomes

-Information about the VINE system so victims can be notified when an offender’s custody status changes

-Transportation to court to provide their Victim Impact Statement (if needed)

-Assistance with their Victim Impact statement, and request for restitution

-Facilitating HIV testing of offenders in certain sexual assault/DV cases

-Victims of Crime Compensation Office assistance, including advising the victim of the financial reimbursement and assistance/support they can receive from the VCCO-relocation assistance, loss of support, reimbursement for medical/counseling and other expenses; assistance with completing the VCCO application, advocacy on their behalf to the VCCO.

Royster added that victim access to smart phones and numerous other services are paid for through the Violence Against Women Act federal grant. Additionally, the ACPO Victim Witness Unit continues to provide advocacy and support to all domestic violence victims as they maneuver through the criminal justice process. Advocates continue to maintain contact with victims to keep them informed of all court dates, provide referrals assistance to local community resources as well assisting with referrals to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO).

Client services for domestic violence victims for the time period during the pandemic are as follows:

Total victims serviced in from March 2, 2020 to date: 8969

Total Domestic Violence victims serviced from March 2, 2020 to date: 1,056

ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy Client Service Data:

Total victims serviced in 2018: 8586

Total Domestic Violence victims serviced in 2018: 708

Total victims serviced in 2019: 8969

Total Domestic Violence victims serviced in 2019: 778

Total victims serviced in 2020: 6,941

Total Domestic Violence victims serviced in 2020: 905

Period during pandemic:

Total victims serviced in from March 2, 2020 to date: 8969

Total DV victims serviced from March 2, 2020  to date: 1,056

YTD victims serviced in 2021: 1,768

YTD DV victims serviced in 2021: 424

PANELIST BIOGRAPHIES:

·         Dawne Lomangino DiMauro has been an active member of the Human Trafficking Movement in New Jersey for the past 17 years.  She is the Director of Statewide Services for Avanzar. Presently, she is a member of the NJ State Human Trafficking Task Force; and holds an appointed seat on the NJ Human Trafficking Commission, over which she serves as Chair. Lomangino-DiMauro has developed human trafficking training, including authoring two curriculums for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, and trained numerous audiences.  Additionally, she continues her work at The Center of Counseling and Wellness LLC, a clinical practice that specializes in the treatment of interpersonal trauma and abuse.  Lomangino DiMauro acquired a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a B.S. in Social Work from Stockton University. She furthered her education at Monmouth University, where she completed her Masters in Social Work and a post-graduate certificate in Play Therapy.

·         Brittany Lee Lewis is a professor of Ethnic Studies at Wilmington University and a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at George Washington University. She specializes in social movements, political ideology, and the nation-state. Since her time in graduate school, she has worked as the chairperson of the George Washington University branch of the D.C. History Graduate Student Association, social media chair of The Activist History Review (TAHR), member of Yale’s Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, and Graduate Student Labor Union. Brittany is also the recipient of the George Washington University Herber Prize for Best Teaching.  She was crowned Miss Delaware for the Miss America Organization in 2014 and Miss Black America in 2017. During her pageant career, she tirelessly advocated for domestic violence awareness after losing her sister to domestic violence in 2009. She has worked alongside former Governor Jack Markell, Delaware Department of Justice, National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

ACPO Domestic Violence Webinar

Time: Apr 22, 2021 05:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83888301370?pwd=Mks3Tk4wbG55OHF3SzJDVkdaK28xUT09

Meeting ID: 838 8830 1370

Passcode: 1234

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