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FBI Victim Specialist Discusses Her Role

FBI Victim Specialist Discusses Her Role


We don’t enter any victim’s life at a good
time, whether it’s a bank robbery or a child exploitation case. We have the ability to come in and help them
deal with the impact of the case. We can’t undo what happened. There’s nothing I can do to make that go away
and pull it away from their memory and their current situation. What we can do is spend a ton of time giving
them good wraparound services, connect them with community providers, helping them reunite
with family, and rebuild from where they are. And up and onward. So we can’t go back. Our mandate is make sure victims are informed
their rights, to inform them of the status of the case, kept appraised of any public
hearing, public aspect of the case, any progress that’s going to be relevant to them, and that
their coordinated service options are there for them. Our job is to meet the victim where they are
at. If the victim will accept a sexual assault exam, if she will go for STD testing, for
counseling, even clothing. We give them what they are able to receive,
we give them what the law allows and that’s where we have to leave it. When the victim is ready, they need to know
that we are there and we’ll give it to them when they are ready. But as long as they keep in touch with me,
I know that somewhere down the road they are going to be ready for services, and we can
connect them. And honestly, that’s all we can do, because
you can’t want it more than someone else. A lot of our girls feel like they are stuck.
The girls don’t always feel like they can go home. Because at 16 years old if you’ve been forced
to have sex with a couple hundred people you don’t have everything in common with your
peers that you did before. Kids might look at you different. You’re going
to go to school. The school counselor says, wow, you’ve been prostituting. And that’s
kind of where it stops. It’s awkward for them to re-acclimate into
their environment, especially when it wasn’t ideal before but now they’re more ostracized. So we have to focus more on getting the wraparound
services, helping them re-acclimate, and honestly it’s totally worth it. It’s a ton of work
and energy. Every kid is worth that. You can’t give up. They’re kids. They can’t
make good decisions because no one is helping them do that. We can at least connect them to community
resources, be there to keep reinforcing and redirecting that. It works.

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