Did You Know…victim advocates are heroes, too?


The words “victim advocate” might not come to mind when you think of first responders, but these professionals are critical on the front lines when police, fire, and paramedics are responding to crisis situations every day. 

Victim advocates are a part of The Victims Assistance Unit, working directly with police departments to offer comprehensive support services to innocent persons who have suffered physical, emotional, or financial loss resulting from a criminal incident. This often includes providing emotional support or victims’ rights information and helping to find needed resources and assistance in filling out crime victim-related forms. These advocates also frequently accompany victims and their family members through the criminal justice proceedings.

We recently spoke with Victim Advocate Aubrie Banning of the Lakewood Police Department’s Victims Assistance Unit. The unit is staffed with volunteer advocates and full-time advocates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Aubrie told us, “We provide initial support in response to a crime and also ensure that victims are provided with referrals for any long-term support they might need, such as mental health counseling and address long-term safety concerns.”

It’s a job that often goes without notice or recognition until you’re a victim in need of support yourself. Which makes them underrated heroes in our book and why they are a part of the Greatest of All Time (GOATS) we support. Every single one of them. Support Colorado’s first responders at www.onegoat.org.