DA Gascón Announces Expansion in Availability of Victim Services

July 27, 2011

Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, o: (415) 553-1167, c: (415) 740-5134, erica.derryck@sfgov.org
ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014, seth.steward@sfgov.org

DA’s Office to Hold Office Hours in the Mission and Bayview Districts for Victims and their Families

SAN FRANCISO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that the District Attorney’s Office is expanding the reach of its Victim Services Division by holding office hours in the community.

Joined by Maria Bee, Chief of the District Attorney’s Office’s Victim Services Division, Juana Flores, Executive Director of Mujeres Unidas y Activas and Toye Moses, Executive Director of the Southeast Community Facility Commission, District Attorney Gascón made clear his goal of breaking down the barriers that keep victims and witnesses of crime from engaging with law enforcement and securing the support and services which they need and deserve.

“We know that victims of crime are vulnerable and that seeking help can sometimes be an intimidating and frightening process,” said District Attorney Gascón. “Instead of putting the burden on them to come to us, we want to bring services to victims and witnesses in their neighborhoods. By working in partnership with community organizations and leveraging our City resources, we can ensure that no San Franciscan faces a barrier to seeking and receiving help and support during a time of crisis.”

Partnering with Mujeres Unidas y Activas, the District Attorney’s Office will hold office hours at the organization’s 3543 18th Street site in the Mission on Wednesdays from 11 am to 1 pm. The Southeast Community Facility Commission located at 1800 Oakdale Avenue will be the location for office hours held on Tuesdays from 9 am to 12 pm. At both sites, residents will be able to make appointments or walk in off the street and meet with trained Victim/Witness advocates from the District Attorney’s Office.

The services residents can access at these locations in the community will be identical to the wide range of assistance that the District Attorney’s Office provides to individuals who visit the Victim Services Division at the District Attorney’s Office at 850 Bryant Street. The assistance provided encompasses comprehensive advocacy and support to victims of crime and witnesses to crime. Services are provided in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Specifically, the Victim Services Division aids serious and violent 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.

These services may be available to victims and witnesses of serious and violent 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