As District Attorney, it is imperative to understand that victims are many times neglected and forgotton. The Louisiana Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment, passed by the people of this state, to make sure that victims rights are protected.
As District Attorney, we created a Special Victims Section in the District Attorneys Office for the handling of domestic violence, sex offenses, crimes against the elderly and against minors. The staff will consist of the victims assistance coordinator (Troy Redmon- VAC) and assistant district attorneys who will receive special training in this area. Miche Moreau is the Chief of this Section. As of October 1, 2003, through a grant obtained from Red River Delta, we have added a Special Victims Coordinator to further our goals in this area. Sheila Hardie, from Bunkie, coordinates this section. This consists of information based classes and training for law enforcement offices. Further, this section communicates with victims and better serve their special needs by focusing on the victim in each case.
The Victims Assistance Coordinator (VAC) was authorized and funded by the the legislature for each District. This position is a full time position filled by an individual who meets certain guidelines. The VAC will be dedicated to the concerns of victims, such as hearing dates, sentencing dates, release dates from jail of the criminal, and other matters, including the emotional concerns that many victims feel have left them out of the process. Involving community services with churches and other non profit organizations to assist individuals who have been victimized by crime is a priority with the District Attorneys Office.
If you know anyone who has been a victim of rape or incest, there are organizations available to help. You may contact Sheila Hardie, or a rape counselor nearest you at: 1-800-656-HOPE or contact the RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) at www.rainn.org.