District Attorney George Gascón Announces Victim Services Expansion in Chinatown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2011

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
Omid Talai, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-9272

District Attorney’s Office Holding Drop-In Hours to Assist Victims and Their Families

SAN FRANCISO – District Attorney George Gascón announced that the District Attorney’s Office is expanding the reach of its Victim Services Division by holding drop-in office hours in Chinatown at Cameron House, a family service organization serving low income Asian immigrants, youth and families for over 135 years.

Joined by Maria Bee, Chief of the District Attorney’s Office’s Victim Services Division, Monica Walters, Executive Director of Cameron House, and Yulanda Kwong, Director of Social Service Ministries, Cameron House, District Attorney Gascón reiterated his priority of breaking down language and cultural barriers that prevent victims and witnesses of crime from engaging with law enforcement and learning about support services available to them.

“As an immigrant, I understand the challenges immigrant families often face,” said District Attorney Gascón. “We are coming right into the community, working with trusted community organizations to assure victims of get the help they need.”

The District Attorney’s Office is partnering with Cameron House to serve the Chinatown and North Beach areas and will hold office hours on Wednesdays from 9:30am to 12pm at 920 Sacramento Street in San Francisco. Residents will be able to make appointments or drop in and meet with trained Victim/Witness advocates from the District Attorney’s Office.

“We know it’s not easy for victims of crime, especially if English isn’t their first language, to come forward and ask for help. Cameron House values the partnership with the District Attorney’s Office and its efforts to provide our community with victim support services,” said Monica Walters, Executive Director of Cameron House.

In addition to the Cameron House office hours, the District Attorney’s Office provides individuals with comprehensive advocacy and support to victims and witnesses of crime from Monday to Friday at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street.; at Mujeres Unidas y Activas, on Wednesdays from 11 am to 1 pm at 3543 18th Street; and at the Southeast Community Facility Commission on Tuesdays from 9am to 12pm at 1800 Oakdale Avenue. Services are provided in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

The Victim Services Division aids crime victims in filing claims with the State Victim Compensation Program, offers crisis intervention and emergency assistance and provides help navigating the criminal justice system. Additionally, staff works with victims and witnesses and their families to identify community resources and make referrals to medical and mental health care providers when needed. The Victim Services Division also helps in securing restitution, assisting with witness relocation, and meeting transportation needs for eligible individuals. Last fiscal year, the Victim Services Division helped over 5,000 victims and witnesses of crime.

These services may be available to victims and witnesses crimes, regardless of whether a case has been charged or a suspect is in custody. Individuals are encouraged to contact the District Attorney’s Office to see if they qualify for assistance. All services are free of cost. For more information call (415) 553-9044 or 311, or visit the District Attorney’s Office’s website at www.sfdistrictattorney.org
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