Victim Witness Unit
The Victim Witness Unit provides services to victims in a humane, safe and respectful environment. Staff provides advocacy, support and referrals for victims of crime as their cases move through the criminal justice process. Witness Advocates provide information about victim’s rights and restitution. Specially-trained advocates offer information and support to victims of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, homicide, property crimes and gang cases. Advocates also share information about the particular case, court dates and sentencing outcomes. Advocates help provide information on safety plans, relocation and lock replacement, as well as crisis referrals and support.
Many victims of crime are new arrivals to this country. Spanish speaking victims work with our bilingual advocates and interpreters are regularly used for other languages. Printed materials in languages other than English are available. The courtroom is also part of advocacy and includes TTY for deaf/hard of hearing clients.
Support and crisis referrals are two of the services frequently needed by victims of crime. Staff also provides information and support for individuals who have witnessed crimes.
Domestic Abuse Service Center
The Domestic Abuse Center is nationally-recognized and is designed to provide victims of domestic violence with ready access to the legal assistance and social services they need. We help victims and families apply for orders for protection. The Center has staff members who can assist in creating safety plans and where to find temporary housing. All of these services are available in one safe and convenient location in downtown Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Government Center. There is also a playroom so children can accompany their parents to the Center.
The Center's operations and staff reflect a unique collaboration among law enforcement agencies and domestic abuse service providers. In addition, many languages are spoken by staff at the Center, including Bengali, Cambodian, Hindi, Hmong, Somali and Spanish and the staff is ethnically and culturally diverse. The Center has been able to raise awareness about domestic abuse services and also provides support services related to the abuse of seniors and vulnerable adults.