POMEROY — Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney Colleen Williams says Meigs County Crime Victim Service Advocate Shelley Kemper is attending Advance Academy B.A.S.I.C.S. this week in London, Ohio.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has designed this program to focus on “the expansion of knowledge and training for victim service providers.”
In a statement, the Attorney General’s Office said the necessity of having highly trained victim advocates in the service field was recognized and the program came about as a result.
The course runs a full week and and is a major step toward being registered with the state as a victim advocate.
This intensive training includes key topics of crisis response and intervention, sexual assault, children victimization, drunken driving, cultural diversity, collaboration of victims rights and services, domestic violence, victimization of the disabled, homicide victims and survivors, elder abuse, financial assistance for victims and the criminal justice system.
Kemper said in a conversation with The Daily Sentinel that her time at the training is being well spent.
“I have learned a lot so far, and I think it is important to better serve victims (that we have this training available),” she said. “I have been inspired by others, representatives from the Ohio Domestic Violence and the Attorney Generals office, and by fellow advocates like myself.”
Kemper said it was good to share ideas about what works best for victims, and ways to support them.
“Our peer discussions often focus on what we have tried and techniques that were successful. We learn from each other,’ she said.
Another purpose of the training is to emotionally prepare advocates. Discussion topics sometimes produce intense reactions and possible triggers from an advocate’s personal experience that are best explored in the safe environment provided during the course.
“We visited the London Correctional Institute and were able to see a different aspect of the criminal justice system. It helped to better understand what goes on inside a correctional facility,” she said.
Later this month, both she and Victims Assistance Director Theda Petrasko will attend the National Organization for Victims Assistance conference in Atlanta.
Reach Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.