McDonnell Attends Virginia Victim Assistance Academy Graduation
On Friday Governor Bob McDonnell attended the Virginia Victim Assistance Academy Graduation at University of Richmond. Craig Carper reports.
The Academy is a week-long program for professionals who work in fields that assist crime victims, such as law enforcement and domestic violence shelters.
Joan Neff is Associate Provost at the University of Richmond, and one of the Academy’s founders.
Neff: We focus on things like victimology and the trauma that victims go through and communicating with victims, what are the best ways of working with victims who may have trouble expressing the feelings that they have, or maybe suffering from PTSD, for example. We also work with them in terms of knowing what kinds of services they may need to refer, you know, out to.
The Academy was founded in 2008 with federal grant money. The program maintains class sizes of approximately 30 students each year to ensure a good learning experience.
Governor McDonnell says the program provides a very valuable service.
McDonnell: People come into the profession with compassion for victims, but they need the training on the statutes and the benefits that are available and the courtroom procedures, and that’s what this is all about, is getting a group of people from around the state to be trained by the best experts we have, and then to look at best practices from all the many, many different victim witness offices around the state to see how can we do things better.
The Governor signed a proclamation declaring Friday Victim Advocate Day and presented the graduates with their diplomas, including his daughter, Cailin McDonnell.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square