BLACK HISTORY MONTH: ACPO VICTIM ADVOCATE COMMITTED TO MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY


MAYS LANDING- ACPO Victim Witness Advocate Shavonne Davis is passionate about addressing stigmas that surround mental conditions that exist in our society and especially within the African American community.

Victim Advocate Davis said her undergraduate and graduate education was centered in psychology, specifically within the context of criminal justice settings. Advocate Davis received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Criminology Minor from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

Advocate Davis said she is able to effectively incorporate her background in psychology and mental health advocacy to forge connections that encourage victims’ resilience while lending an empathetic, nonjudgmental ear.

“My entire childhood and adolescence was spent in my hometown of Vineland in Cumberland County. Our population consisted of a rich diversity that exposed me to an amalgam of unique cultures and identities, similar to Atlantic County. Growing up in this environment aided my cultural competency that I put forth when working with this community,” said Advocate Davis.

“I enjoy working with victims of all backgrounds and ranges, but there have certainly been times, as a minority, I work with victims from my own background who feel empowered just by seeing me in this position,” she said.

Victims of crimes are often people in one of the most vulnerable moments of their lives, and it can be an extra comfort in their vulnerability to make a connection with staff on a cultural level, she said.

Advocate Davis said she is a continuous student of Black history in general, but she feels that Black History Month in particular, provides the opportunity to earnestly reflect on the history of her ancestors.

“Apart from focusing on the many struggles that they endured through the years, Black History Month also means taking the time to highlight and celebrate the various achievements and important contributions that Black individuals have made to our society. Their bravery, persistence, and commitment to justice inspires me to advocate the best that I can for the victims of Atlantic County,” Advocate Davis said.

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Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at https://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

 

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