Victim assistance is available to any citizen of Longmont or to any victim of a crime committed within the City of Longmont.
Victim and Witness Reactions:
The following reactions are normal after a trauma or crisis:
- Shock and disbelief, numbness
- Having unwanted memories
- Anxiety or panicky feelings
- Feeling "lost" or "out of it"
- Irritability (near tears or anger much of the time)
- Recurring nightmares and / or sleep disturbances
- Loss of appetite
- Crying for "no reason"
- Feeling as if the trauma were happening again (flashbacks)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Losing interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Disruption of family life
- Withdrawal or isolation
- Unexplained headaches, nausea, or physical pain
For Family and friends:
Listen carefully and spend time with the traumatized person. Do what you can to help them feel safe and remind them that their confusing emotions are normal.
Traumatized people are not comforted by statements such as, "You were lucky it wasn't worse." They may also feel blamed by questions like, "Why were you there?" Instead, tell them you are sorry such an event has occurred. Reassure them that it was not their fault. Ask them to help you understand how they feel and what you can do to help.
Even if you weren't the direct victim, remember that people who care about victims often become co - victims emotionally. Find people who can listen to and support you. Ask for help when you need it.
Victims and witnesses often feel alone, isolated, and helpless and sometimes experience self-blame. Also, it is common that victims and witnesses find it difficult to ask for assistance. A victim assistance advocate can help victims and witnesses by providing the following services:
As experienced, active listeners, advocates can assist victims in sorting through the confusing feelings they may be experiencing. It is important that victims are reassured that their reactions are normal.
Resources and Referral
Many resources are available in the community, and advocates can initiate contact with them. Referral information for victim compensation, counseling, and safe shelter are often provided.
Advocacy and Practical Help
Advocates can give procedural and actual information about the accident or crime and act as liaisons with the law enforcement agency and criminal justice system.
Victim's Bill of Rights:
Colorado is a state which has an amendment guaranteeing specific rights to victims of certain crimes. Some of those rights are as follows:
- Victims and witnesses have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to protection from intimidation and harm.
- Victims and witnesses have a right to be kept informed about various phases of their case, including investigation, prosecution, trial, and sentencing.
- Victims have a right to provide information and input into the criminal justice process, especially at such key points as plea bargaining, sentencing, and parole release hearings.
- Victims have a right to restitution as a condition of sentencing.
- Victims have a right to the prompt return of their property used for evidence.
- Victims have a right to notifications from officials about arrest; release of defendants; time and location of legal proceedings; time and location of trials; and continuances or delays in trial proceedings, sentencing, and parole hearings.
- Victims and families have the right to be informed about eligibility for victim compensation, where applicable, and the right to be helped in completing application forms in a timely manner when applicable.
- Victims have a right to employer intercession. (A victim cannot be fired or displaced from their job for participating in an investigation or court process.)
- Victims have a right to information about victim assistance and other community resources.
- Victims have a right to a quick and fair resolution.
Victim Assistance - (303) 651-8855
District Attorney's Office, Victim Witness Program - (303) 441-3700
Emergency Psychiatric Unit (Available 24hrs) - (303) 447-1665
Heartbeat (support after suicide) - (303) 828-3325
Hospice Care of Boulder and Broomfield Counties (grief counseling) - (303) 604-5300
Boulder County Legal services - (303) 449-7575
Rape Crisis (Available 24hrs) - (303) 443-7300
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Non-Violence SPAN (available 24hrs) - (303) 449-8623
Safe Shelter of St Vrain Valley (303) 772-4422
If you have any questions or would like more information about Victim Assistance, please email or call (303) 651-8855.
The Longmont Police Department utilizes members of the community to staff our team of victim advocates. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer victim advocate, an application and information are available.