Victim Assistance Program
VICTIM SERVICES UNIT
| Response Team |
Affiliations | Staffing | Hours
| Program History
| Texas Crime Victims Rights | Crime
Helpful Phone Numbers
| Crisis Reactions | Links
Initiated in 1987 by volunteers, APD Victim Services is one of the first programs of its type in Texas and in 1992 won the Governor's Award for Best Victim Assistance Program in Texas.
In 2009 the program was awarded the IACP/Login Excellence in Victim Services Award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
is a Unit of the Community Services Division, Supervised by the Victim
Services Coordinator: Derrelynn Perryman.
The Arlington Police
Department's Victim Services Program exists to provide services to victims
and family members with the goal of lessening the short and long-term trauma
experienced as a direct result of victimization.
The Victim Services
program provides crisis counseling, crisis intervention, criminal justice support
and advocacy, information and referral, notification of rights and assistance
with filing Crime Victims Compensation claims, assistance with property return, court
accompaniment, child care during statements, and transportation to court or
to shelter to all victims of violent crime reported to the Arlington Police
Are you or someone
you know a victim of crime?
Click here for more information: Resources for Victims
on Crime Victims' Rights, Crime
Victims' Compensation, Family Violence,
and links to other Helpful Sites.
Services offered by the Victim Services Program to the 900-1300 victims served each month include:
- On site crisis intervention and follow up
- Crisis counseling in person and by telephone
- Information about Crime Victims' rights and Crime
Victims' Compensation, and assistance with filing claims
- Advocacy with the criminal justice system and other
- Information and referral to community services
- Case status information
- Court accompaniment in some cases
- Transportation to shelter, other safe location, or to court
The program also provides training to law enforcement officers and community
groups, and serves as a consultant to other agencies on law enforcement based
victim services. The Coordinator is a licensed TCLEOSE instructor.
Crisis Counselors are on duty 7 days a week to respond to patrol officers' request for immediate crisis intervention for victims of traumatic crimes. The team provides all of the services listed above.
Click here for more information about the Victim Services
If you would like more information or assistance with establishing or expanding
a Victim Assistance program, please contact us!
The program holds active memberships in The Tarrant Family Violence Council,
The Coalition for Crime Victim Services, Law Enforcement Victim Assistance,
Texas Victim Services Association.
Current staffing consists of the Victim Services Coordinator, the Victim Services Supervisor,
six Victim Services Counselors, the Victim Services Specialist, and the Youth and Family Specialist. The program's staff volunteers and interns serve victims of all types of violent or traumatic crimes.
Youth and Family Specialist Program
When a child or teenager is involved with the criminal justice system, the entire family may be experiencing a crisis. The Arlington Police
Department's Youth and Family Specialist is a licensed social worker who provides services to youth and their parents when a child/adolescent is involved with the department whether that involvement is as a victim, as suspect, or because the family has called the police for help with a developing problem that has not yet become criminal. She helps families develop workable action plans and makes sure they are aware of the full range of options and services in the community that may help with the crisis and with strengthening the family. The Youth and Family Specialist is in the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Hours of Operation:
The Victim Services office operates from 6 a.m. to
2 a.m. 7 days a week.
Victim Services personnel are also available for call out 24 hours a day at the request of patrol officers or investigators
Our Phone Numbers:
- 817-459-5339 (Main)
- 817-459-5340 (Victim Services Supervisor)
- 817-459-5711 (Administrator)
- 817-459-5317 (Fax)
The Arlington Police Department's Victim Services Program was initiated in
August, 1987 with two volunteers recruited through VIVA, the City's volunteer
program. These volunteers acted under the guidance of the Sergeant of the Juvenile
Division, who became the department's Crime Victim Liaison as specified by the
Code of Criminal Procedures.
Volunteers initially were given a small office and a phone, answering machine,
typewriter, and basic office supplies. Outreach was done by using a form letter
or by phone call. Volunteers were given media copies of all of the murder, kidnapping,
aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, assault with bodily injury cases and
sought to inform victims of their rights and the availability of Crime Victims'
Compensation. Although the volunteers had little training and were not professional
counselors, victims appreciated the volunteer's emotional support and compassion.
The Mental Health Association of Tarrant County later offered the services of
a licensed counselor 20 hours a month, and the counselor provided training to
the volunteers and services to some victims. The Counselor also introduced the
volunteers to a number of community based services and the volunteers began
attending workshops offered in the area. This knowledge and the careful records
of services provided kept by the program helped in the application for grant
After the first year, the department applied for a VOCA (Victims of Crime Act)
grant through the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, and the
first full time Coordinator was hired. The Coordinator was a licensed counselor.
The following year, a part time Administrative Assistant was hired, and the
year after that, the Administrative Assistant was made a full time position.
Staffing remained at two full time until 1995, when additional VOCA funds allowed
the program to add another part time position. The program maintained a volunteer
base of between eight and twelve active volunteers, who provided services to
approximately 1000 victims of all types of violent crime (including DWI, FSRA-
Hit&Run, and burglary of a habitation) each month. Also, in 1995 the program
became a Program Partner with AmeriCorps UTA, who provided an AmeriCorps member
full time for one year.
In 1996 the Arlington Police Department received a grant through the U.S. Department
of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services, to establish a Domestic Violence
Response Team that included two civilian crisis counselors and a supervisor
assigned to the Victim Assistance Program, and two civilian investigative aides
assigned to the Domestic Crimes Investigations Unit. The following year the
additional staff were picked up through a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)
With the initiation of on scene crisis response, the program also needed to
expand the volunteer base to include volunteers who were available to sign up
for eight to ten hour shifts to ride with the Response Team, on duty seven days a week. A staff counselor is paired with a volunteer
and available for patrol call out during Response Team hours. AmeriCorps UTA
added additional part time members. The University of Texas at Arlington's School
of Social Work provided additional student interns (supervised by the Victim
Services Coordinator, a licensed social worker), and flyers were posted on
the U.T. Arlington campus. The local newspapers both ran stories about the new
Response Team's Crisis Intervention program including information about volunteering.
The Coordinator and other staff also mention the need for volunteers at all
speaking engagements, guest lectures, and community presentations (including
officer training), and all of these efforts continue to bring in volunteers.
The Arlington Police
Department's Victim Services Program is currently seeking volunteers
to assist victims of violent crime.
Some of the things our volunteers do:
- Assist Victim Services Staff in
reviewing police reports to identify victims and assess immediate needs
- Assist staff in contacting victims
in person or by phone to provide crisis counseling, information, referrals
to community agencies, and ongoing support throughout the criminal justice
- Partnering with a Crisis Counselor to provide crisis intervention on scene, at the police station, or at the hospital.
- Assist victims with applying for
Crime Victims' Compensation
Hours are flexible
If you are
interested in gaining valuable experience while serving victims in our
community, please contact Nikki Rosenboom at (817) 459-5349 to
set up an interview.
Volunteers must complete
an interview process and background/criminal history check, including a
polygraph, prior to acceptance.
for Victims Page
Crime Victims' Rights:
Rights of Crime Victims
CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 56. RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS
SUBCHAPTER A. CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS
Art. 56.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Close relative of a deceased victim" means a person who was the
spouse of a deceased victim at the time of the victim's death or who is a parent or adult brother, sister,
or child of the deceased victim.
(2) "Guardian of a victim" means a person who is the legal guardian of
the victim, whether or not the legal relationship between the guardian and
victim exists because of the age of the victim or the physical or mental
incompetency of the victim.
(2-a) "Sexual assault" includes an offense under Section 21.02, Penal
(3) "Victim" means a person who is the victim of the offense of sexual
assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of persons, or injury to a
child, elderly individual, or disabled individual or who has suffered personal
injury or death as a result of the criminal conduct of another.
CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS.
(a) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is
entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:
(1) the right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate
protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with
(2) the right to have the magistrate take the safety of the victim or his
family into consideration as an element in fixing the amount of bail for the
(3) the right, if requested, to be informed:
(A) by the attorney representing the state of
relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed
if those proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled prior to the event; and
(B) by an appellate court of decisions of the court,
after the decisions are entered but before the decisions are made public;
(4) the right to be informed, when requested, by a peace officer
concerning the defendant's right to
bail and the procedures in criminal investigations and by the district attorney's
office concerning the general procedures in the criminal justice system,
including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations and arrangements,
restitution, and the appeals and parole process;
(5) the right to provide pertinent information to a probation department
conducting a presentencing investigation concerning the impact of the offense on
the victim and his family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner
prior to any sentencing of the offender;
(6) the right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of
crime as provided by Subchapter B, including information related to the costs
that may be compensated under that subchapter and the amount of compensation,
eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation
under that subchapter, the payment for a medical examination under Article 56.06
for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, to referral to available
social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;
(7) the right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to
participate in the parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole
proceedings concerning a defendant in the victim's case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and
Paroles for inclusion in the defendant's
file information to be considered by the board prior to the parole of any
defendant convicted of any crime subject to this subchapter, and to be notified,
if requested, of the defendant's
(8) the right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from
other witnesses, including the offender and relatives of the offender, before
testifying in any proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area
is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim's
contact with the offender and the offender's
relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings;
(9) the right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held
by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the
property is no longer required for that purpose;
(10) the right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of
the victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may
necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
(11) the right to counseling, on request, regarding acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and
testing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable
causative agent of AIDS, if the offense is an offense under Section 21.02,
21.11(a)(1), 22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code;
(12) the right to request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the
victim services division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;
(13) the right to be informed of the uses of a victim impact statement
and the statement's purpose in the
criminal justice system, to complete the victim impact statement, and to have
the victim impact statement considered:
(A) by the attorney representing the state and the
judge before sentencing or before a plea bargain agreement is accepted; and
(B) by the Board of Pardons and Paroles before an
inmate is released on parole;
(14) to the extent provided by Articles 56.06 and 56.065, for a victim of
a sexual assault, the right to a forensic medical examination if, within 96
hours of the sexual assault, the assault is reported to a law enforcement agency
or a forensic medical examination is otherwise conducted at a health care
(15) for a victim of an assault or sexual assault who is younger than 17
years of age or whose case involves family violence, as defined by Section
71.004, Family Code, the right to have the court consider the impact on the
victim of a continuance requested by the defendant; if requested by the attorney
representing the state or by counsel for the defendant, the court shall state on
the record the reason for granting or denying the continuance.
(b) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim
is entitled to the right to be present at all public court proceedings related
to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in the case.
Code of Criminal Procedure, Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Act, Chapter
56, Subchapter B
Purpose: To compensate residents of the United States who suffer personal
injury or death as the result of a violent crime, including DWI, Failure to
Stop and Render Aid, and certain other vehicular crimes.
Administered by: The Office of the Attorney General, Crime Victims'
Compensation Division, Austin, Texas.
Crime Victims' Compensation may be available to pay the amount of expense
reasonably and necessarily incurred for:
(i) Medical, counseling, prescription and rehabilitative
(ii) Partial loss of earnings because of a disability resulting from personal
injury, participation in the criminal justice process, or seeking medical
(iii) Child care for minor children to enable a victim or spouse of a deceased
victim to continue employment;
(iv) Certain funeral and burial expenses;
(v) Reasonable costs associated with crime scene cleanup;
(vi) Reasonable replacement costs for clothing or bedding taken as evidence
or made unusable as a result of the criminal investigation of a sexual assault;
(vii) Travel expenses necessary to participate in the criminal justice process
and/or seek medical treatment;
(vii) One-time payment of certain relocation expenses in domestic violence
and sexual assault
Reimbursement for property damage or loss is not an eligible expense.
In order to qualify for Crime Victims' Compensation:
- The crime must be reported to law enforcement
within a reasonable amount of time unless there are justified extraordinary
- Claim must be filed within three years unless
good cause can be shown as to why the claim wasn't filed.
- The victim must cooperate with law enforcement
and prosecution efforts.
- The victim must be the innocent victim of a violent
crime who suffers personal injury.
The Victim Services Program of the Arlington Police Department will assist
you in applying for benefits from Crime Victims' Compensation. Upon request,
we will provide you with the claim form, will send the claim form and required
documentation to CVC, and notify service providers that a claim has been applied
for and is pending. Please allow us assist you in obtaining these benefits if
you feel you may qualify.
For more information on Crime Victims' Compensation,
The Texas Office of the Attorney General's Crime Victims' Compensation
number is 1-800-983-9933
Helpful Phone Numbers
Local Resource List
24 Hour Numbers-
Some of the local agencies that provide services to victims:
- Texas Crime Victims' Clearinghouse 1-800-252-3423
- Family Violence Legal Line 1-800-374-HOPE
- General Legal Line 1-800-777-FAIR
- Texas Youth Hotline 1-800-210-2278
- Crime Victims' Compensation 1-800-983-9933
The Victim Services Program can assist you with locating other resources.
Contact us at (817) 459-5339
Family Violence affects not only the victim and abuser,
it affects the
friends and family, and our community.
Abuse can be physical (pushing, slapping, grabbing, hitting, kicking, choking, cutting, burning, dragging, shooting, stabbing, murder)
Abuse can be sexual (demeaning remarks about your gender, accusations of being unfaithful, unwanted touching, forced sex)
Abuse can be emotional (criticism, name calling, shouting, making all the decisions for you, humiliating and ridiculing you in public, lying and manipulation)
Many forms of abuse are a violation
Without intervention, abuse tends to become more frequent
and more severe over time.
Approximately 33% of all women who are murdered in
the United States are murdered by an intimate partner or former partner. In
one study, homicide was found to be the leading cause of death of women during
pregnancy, even more frequently than medical complications. Some of the risk
factors associated with escalation to serious injury or homicide in family violence
- Access to firearms/weapons
- History of use of weapons
- Threats of use of weapons
- Threats of Homicide
- Threats of Suicide
- History of violence in relationships
- History of serious injury
- Recent increase in severity or frequency of violence
- Public violence
- Violence associated with drug or alcohol use
- Violence associated with the victim leaving or attempting
- Violence toward children
- Violence toward pets
- Obsessive jealousy or possessiveness/sense of ownership
- Isolation/extreme dependency on the partner/victim
- Forced sex/use of pornography
- Previous police involvement/repeat calls for service
If you feel afraid:
REACTIONS TO TRAUMATIC EVENTS
As a victim of or witness to a violent crime or traumatic event, you may be
experiencing some of the following symptoms or other reactions to one degree
or another. Most people do experience some form of reaction to a crisis. The
following information is presented as a guide to what many people do experience
in the aftermath of a traumatic event, but does not necessarily indicate that
you should be experiencing these symptoms. Each individual is unique, and reactions
are as individual as we are.
PHASE I: CRISIS STAGE/IMPACT STAGE
First reaction may be shock and disbelief, may last a few seconds, minutes,
hours, days and in some cases years. Denial of the reality of the event is used
as a defense to protect the person from experiencing the full impact. Symptoms
of distress may include increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, muscle
tenseness, shaking, feelings of helplessness, panic, fear, vulnerability, confusion,
difficulty making decisions, short term memory difficulties, hypervigilance,
difficulty with eating or sleeping, or difficulty concentrating. This stage
may last up to 72 hours after the event, but some of these symptoms may last
longer or come and go for some time. After a sustained period of emotional and
physical arousal, most people experience exhaustion.
PHASE II: RECOIL
As the person begins to recover and adapt to the sense of violation, many strong
emotions may emerge. Intense feelings of anger, sadness, violation, panic, fear,
frustration, confusion, self-pity, and guilt may alternate with denial and avoidance
of experiencing these powerful feelings by trying to avoid thinking about the
event, or keeping busy, or trying to avoid reminders of the event. Problems
with eating or sleeping may persist. This phase may last from 24 hours to several
PHASE III: REORGANIZATION/REINTEGRATION
Resuming of something of a normal life, although perhaps a "new normal". The
process is one of ups and downs, and there may be a reoccurrence of symptoms
of the crisis reaction, especially when confronted with reminders of the event.
Triggers may include anniversaries of the event, holidays associated with the
event, hearing about similar events, the criminal justice process, or sights,
smells, and sounds that remind one of something about the event. This phase
can begin as early as a week or as long as a year later.
All of the above are considered "normal" reactions. As long as you are able
to recognize that you are having a "normal" reaction to an abnormal circumstance,
you may be able to combat the sense that many victims have that they are "losing
their minds". If symptoms are very intense, or if they interfere with your ability
to return to day to day functioning, you may want to seek some short term help
with coping with the trauma. The Victim Assistance Program is available for
short term counseling or referral to community resources familiar with trauma
reactions. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. You have probably
been through something that anyone would have difficulty coping with. If you
have thoughts of hurting yourself, please let someone know, or call Crisis Intervention
at 817-927-5544 (24 hours).
Some suggestions for coping with the immediate crisis include:
- Try to get plenty of rest, sleep if you can.
- Eat nutritious meals, even if you have little appetite. Sometimes several
small meals are easier than three large ones.
- Moderate exercise, such as walking may help relieve some of the stress,
and may also help with appetite and sleep problems.
- Keep a journal, including writing about the experience and about your feelings
and experiences afterward.
- Try to keep important information, including names and dates of people that
you have talked to about the case, together. Perhaps saved in a large envelope.
- Find a supportive friend or counselor who is willing to listen to you tell
your story. You many need to tell the story repeatedly.
- Remember that children react differently to trauma than adults do. Children
may be affected even if they were not directly involved in the crisis. Encourage
children to talk, draw pictures, or act out the event with toys or role playing.
Some regression is normal in children, but if you feel that the reaction is
severe, you may want to seek counseling for the child.
to other websites for victims of crime
Assistance Online (resource
General's Crime Victims Division/Crime Victim's Compensation
Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Assistance Program
for Equal Justice (Victim
for All (Victim Advocacy
Center for Victims of Crime
The National Organization for Victim Assistance
Parents of Murdered
Child Abuse Prevention
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Rape, Abuse & Incest
National Network (RAINN)
People Against Violent Crime
Child Protective Services
Texas Advocacy Project