San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office launched the state’s first digital victim advocate program last month allowing victims of crimes to digital access to have their answers questions, provide support and follow up on individual cases.
“With more and more people in the community becoming accustomed to using their computers, tablets and mobile phones for everything in their day-to-day lives, the program is setting the example for how to be more accessible to the community, especially victims and witnesses,” according to a district attorney’s office statement.
The service is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Team members are not available on holidays or weekends.
No case information will be released, however, because of security and confidentiality reasons.
Users, who have the option to remain anonymous, can visit sbcountyda.org and find a chat bubble on the webpage’s lower right corner. When the chat window opens, user can chat with a district attorney digital advocate team member. If a team member is helping someone at the same time, the user can leave a message and get a phone call once the team member is free.
“Our hope for this program is to reaffirm the communities’ trust and confidence in our office and the services we provide,” said District Attorney Jason Anderson. “All too often, people forget that our office exists to protect victims and fight for them and their rights. This new way of communicating takes us one step closer in helping the communities we serve.”
Because more people are at home during the coronavirus pandemic, technology is being used more than ever,” said Flerida Alarcon, the bureau chief for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Victim Services Bureau.
“I believe its critical that victims of crime who may be isolated are able to reach out to a victim advocate to receive much-needed services using their preferred method of communication,” she said. The digital victim advocacy program will allow us to provide additional services using technology and social media platforms.” Information: sb countyda.org.