Victim Advocate Services
A Victim Advocate can provide you with your court date, time and location.
Victim Advocates are vastly familiar with Magistrate Court (criminal and civil), Municipal Court, General Sessions Court, Family Court, and Bond Court. They can help prepare you for your court hearing. They can accompany you in court and help you understand the process, the rules and the terminology to make you more comfortable during your hearing.
Emergency Relief Funds
Victim Advocates can often help you with emergency needs that are a result of a crime. Such needs may be eyeglass replacement, door and window repair or placement, food, transitional housing and utility costs. If you have a need that resulted from being a crime victim, please call and see if funds are available.
Financial assistance to help victims pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages and counseling services is available. Certain requirements must be met to qualify. Contact the Victim Assistance Office for more information and assistance in applying for these funds. Additional information may be found at www.sova.sc.gov.
Contact the Victim Assistance Unit for up to date information about your case.
Restraining Orders are often put in place to ensure the safety of an individual. We understand that the parties involved may have a legitimate issue that needs to be discussed, i.e. a sick child, mortgage concerns, tax preparations, etc. where one party may need a quick discussion with the other party and a third party is not available. The Victim Advocates can assist with mediating those situations while adhering to the intent of the restraining order.
- If you are an identified victim, an officer will make a reasonable attempt to notify you of upcoming bond hearings and inmate releases.
- You can register for release information via text or phone call from the SC State Automated Victim Information Notification (SAVIN) system by calling 888- 896-3853 or go to their webpage at savin.sc.gov. This service is user friendly, free and available 24 hours a day in English and Spanish.
- A Victim Advocate can also provide victims with inmate information such as bond amounts, release dates, etc.
Victim Advocates can provide emotional and moral support. They can assist victims with securing their rights, remedies and services from other agencies. Advocates can intervene with employers, creditors, and property owners on the victim’s behalf as needed. Limited transportation to obtain necessities such as groceries, replace stolen items such as driver’s license, social security cards, etc. is available for victims.
Victim Advocates can help document a crime by taking photographs of your injuries.
The Victim Assistance Unit maintains a list of area services providers that can assist victims with needs such as:
- Emergency Shelter
- Lawyer referral
- Social Service Agencies
- Support Services
Restitution can be sought during criminal cases for expenses related to medical treatment, theft and damaged items. Documentation such as receipts or estimates are required. Contact a Victim Advocate prior to your court hearing to find out how to obtain restitution.
Restraining Orders / Protection Orders / No-Contact Orders
There are several types of restraining orders and courts that issue the orders differ. If you feel that you need a restraining order, protection order or no-contact order, please contact the Victim Assistance office. A Victim Advocate can help determine your needs and if you meet the requirements, help you file a petition with the proper court to request a hearing.
The following is a list of basic qualifications. There are often exceptions to these qualifications.
To see if you qualify for a Domestic Violence Protection Order click here.
To see if you qualify for a Restraining Order click here.
Add to DV Protection Order
The allegation of abuse must have occurred in South Carolina.
The petition must be filed in the county where:
- The alleged act of abuse occurred;
- The county where the person who caused the abuse lives; or
- The county where the victim and the respondent last lived together.
Add to Restraining Order
The harassment or stalking must have occurred in South Carolina.
The petition must be filed in the county:
- Where the respondent lives;
- Where the criminal offense occurred; or
- Where the complainant resides (if the respondent is a non-resident of SC).
The allegations of conduct by the respondent must meet the state law definition of prohibited behavior as defined in 16-3-1700 of the SC Law.
Your safety is very important and there are several factors to consider.
Are you in a domestic violence situation? Click here for things to consider when leaving or staying with your abuser.
If you are being harassed or stalked, click here for more information.
If you feel that you are in harms way, take precautionary measures to ensure your safety and call 911 immediately.
A Victim Advocate can help with transportation to court hearings, shelter and to obtain emergency services.