All of the volunteer roles at MADD Nebraska are important and make a difference. But, one role, in particular, is vital to the core of who we are as an organization. The Victim Advocate.
Victim advocacy is the heart of what MADD does. Every aspect of our mission is directed towards creating a future with No More Victims. And until we get there, we work to support the victims impacted by the crime of impaired driving. Victim Advocate volunteers are specifically trained to be able to provide direct services to those who are impacted by impaired driving and underage drinking.
So what does it take to become a MADD Victim Advocate? A lot of heart. That is the one thing that all of our victim advocate volunteers start with. Everything else, we can teach you. Victim advocate training is intensive and covers everything that an advocate will need to know to walk a victim through the aftermath of a crash. The role of a MADD victim advocate is to support victims after the crash and to help walk them through the criminal justice process. There are many things advocates do, like listen to a victim’s frustrations or stories about their loved one, make referrals to counselors, help connect victims with others who understand, inform victims throughout the criminal justice process acting as a support and liaison for meetings with county attorneys. And there are a few things advocates are not, they are not professional counselors or attorneys and can’t act as either. More than anything victim advocates are a guide and a support. Victims are thrown into a whole world of unknown after a crash and advocates work to walk them through that new world.
The training and background checks for advocates is extensive. Because we want the right people filling this role and because we want the best for the victims we work with. It is a difficult role, but those who do it know that it is also one of the most rewarding volunteer jobs MADD offers. We are always looking for amazing people to fill this role across the state. If you are ready to take on this task, have a big heart and want to help, please reach out to the MADD Nebraska State Office.