There are a number of victim agencies that caught my eye when I was preparing this article. However there is this one firm called The Kennedy Victim Agency. This is actually the communities leading victim agency because it has helped over a hundred thousand people in the last two months only and still continues to help the highest number of people countrywide (Yole ,2006). This organization was founded twenty two years ago by a group of people who had gone through hard times in life.
Most of these women and men had been at one time or the other been engaged in an abusive relationship (Phyllis, 1989). They came together and joined hands to help other people undergoing similar treatments in their lives get out of it and move on. Its mission is to provide support for the victims, helping in reducing violence, and prop up fairness for victims of crime and ill-treatment, the members of their families and the community as a whole.
Their over seventy programs are located in police stations, school compounds, court compounds, temporary houses and community administrative centers. Their first and could be major priority is to help the victims get to safety and back to normal self.
They have a twenty four hour operation service that aims at attending to those in dire need of help at any time. Their offices are well spread countrywide and their telephone lines are always functioning so they can be accessed at any time of the day or night. Their staff is highly qualified with a multilingual proficiency. This makes them efficient especially in dealing with cases involving persons such as refugees and tourists who fall victims of crime. They also have hotline advocates who help in crisis handling, planning for safety, help in finding shelter for those who don’t have, they also counsel the victims, support with the police and referring the victims to their centers where they are attended to by their staff.
Since Kennedy Victim Agency deals with so many cases, it’s divided into different departments. Each department has its own operations delegated to them by the top management. I will take a critical look at each and every department and its functions. But could be before that, it is equally important at this point to talk about the sources of income for this firm since it has so many expenses in terms of staff remuneration and service delivery. This organization mostly relies on donations from the well wishers; donations can be made in both money and material form. The government caters for about ten percent of its budget. It also has invested in a number of projects countrywide; it runs shops, restaurants and private schools. The income generated from these projects is used to supplement the budget.
The organization collaborates with the criminal justice system to help the victims of violence. It offers innovative programs support women throughout the difficult process of disengaging from violent relationships and seeking new ones elsewhere. This one is not an easy task though because some of the women in question are very difficult to convince. To achieve this though, the firm has employed a pool of highly trained psychologists who serve to oversee such tasks and responsibilities. For those who survive such bad acts, Kennedy Victim Agency often helps them continue with their lives independently elsewhere. They are given proper psychological and material help to enable them settle elsewhere safely.
For the victims of domestic violence, batterers often use all forms of bad things such as threats, sexual abuse, and economic abuse among other types of abuse (Becker, 1998). This type of abuse is not limited to women only because it has also been reported in same sex marriages and at times some women often mistreat their husbands. For such cases depending on the degree of torture and torment, the victims may be taken to hospital for check up and treatment if they are found with injuries.
The hospital bills are often settled by the firm and after hospital treatment, counseling kicks off. Most often than not, such victims are often counseled on the dangers of reverting back to such relationships and also on the importance of moving on. When handling such cases, Kennedy Victim Agency often liaises with the police to ensure that batterers are brought to book. They hire the services of a lawyer during the court sessions and most often advocate for divorce. Men who barter are also helped at times to help change their behavior especially if their partners are not willing to break up by seeking divorce. This kind of liaison between the police and the firm is always emphasized to ensure that justice is pursued to the bitter end.
They also handle cases of rape and sexual assault. Sexual assault is very broad term and refers to any form of sex that the other partner has not consented to. There are so many cases of sexual assault and they include rape, incest, child molestation and sexual abuse. This however is not limited to forced penetration because it also includes touching of the intimate parts of another persons body such as the buttocks, breast and the sexual organs without their consent.
Rape on its part is the forceful penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with the penis or any other object. Rape cases are never crimes of passion but are actually criminal offence regardless of whether the victims were married couples or not. The coordination with the police still proves to be important here as they help in arresting the perpetrators of such acts. The victims of rape are often taken to the hospital for check up and treatment. Thus these types of cases related to sexual assault are more or less handled in the same way as those of domestic violence.
According to Barnes (1997) stalking has also caused terrible problems to the general public. Here one constantly threatens the other person for whichever reasons. The victim lives in constant fear of being beaten or tortured. This is actually a criminal offence. What Kennedy Victim Agency does is to take the victims through counseling sessions because they are often very frustrated and with no hope. Here this agency still works in conjunction with the police to bring the victims to book. This collaboration with the police mainly aims at hastening the justice system.
This organization offers shelter to the victims of abuse during crisis and temporarily houses abused women for a while as they contemplate on where to go next. Here the women are housed together and are able to share ideas on how to go about with their normal lives out of the torture zones. It is in these places that they now have all the time to teach these women survival tactics and how to manage themselves on the aftermath of their hard times (Kim, 2001).
Some of the some have ever since been employed by the organization, especially the ones that were relying on their partners for financial support. As a matter of fact Kennedy Victim Agencies has employed well over five hundred people who had been abused before. Some of them have even been sent back to school for training and are now helping the organization in counseling of other people. This kind of approach has really paid fruits because people tend to be moved by others who had gone through similar circumstances and have now moved on.
Crime victims as defined by the law have some rights (Otto & Heilbrun, 2002). Kennedy Victim Agency works in conjunction with the justice system to ensure that such rights are not violated (Watson, 1999). The department of corrections is concerned with all the victims needs. It also works in liaison with the juvenile section to educate the criminals of their rights. They provide victim notification and public information regarding the offenders. They also provide training on victim issues through its academy.
Probation and parole representatives in all its offices often ensure that cultural and regional dimensions are catered for sufficiently. This provides cover for the kinds of victims who are able to be informed of their rights and could be why they were even arrested in the first place. This has facilitated the issuance of bail to all those bail able cases in good time. When for instance one is sentenced for offenses amounting to felony, the judge can at times order him to be placed on probation supervision just within the community.
On incarceration his/her behavior is checked to find whether they are changed persons after the exercise or not (Bures, 2003). This has always been made possible with the many projects Kennedy Victim Agency is running. They at times allow the victims to do community service on their premises.
Lastly the victims in police custody have been at times given health personnel to attend to all their health needs. Some of the victims are actually patients who may be undergoing through a treatment process. Therefore Kennedy Victim Agencies appreciates the importance of healthy living and that is why it has incorporated all these kinds of activities in its day to day operations. In so doing, it has been able to effectively achieve its objectives in a concise manner (James & Patricia, 2003).
In conclusion we realize that these collaborations between this organization and other stakeholders in other diverse areas of specialization are not only a mutual one but also an indispensable one to both of them.
Different firms and government organs have all jointly helped this organization in executing its duties. The best thing about this coordination though is that it has given the victims the best services they can ever think of. I can only wish this kind of project well and ask all those being abused out there to come out and seek help from this firm and my word to those who are able is please lets donate and help our fellow brothers and sisters being abused get out of such relationships and be independent. To all those committing these offenses, it’s not morally right for you to be doing that, have some sense of morality in you.
Anna, Yole. (2006) Rehabilitation as a corrective measure in the current generation: Focus on the teenage years, Longman EA publishers.
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