The Broomfield Police Department Victim Services Unit is seeking volunteer victim advocates. Please see the job announcement for details. The application deadline has been extended to March 7, 2014.
The Broomfield Police Department is a community oriented police department that supports the Victim Services Unit and offers a wide range of services to help prevent crime and resolve problems. The Victim Services Unit was established as part of the Broomfield Police Department in 1987 and its purpose is to assist Broomfield victims, and their families, who are in crisis. Victim advocates assist by giving victims the support they need to recover from the trauma of crime, and help them understand their rights as crime victims.
During the Holiday Season
The holidays are a time of joy for many people, but for individuals experiencing victimization, a traumatic event or the sudden death of a loved one, the holiday season can be stressful or sad. Individuals may experience depression, anxiety, self blame, sleep disturbances, irritability, and loss of enjoyment for the upcoming events around the holiday season.
If you've been a victim or experienced a recent traumatic event, realize that due to the unexpected changes in your life that were out of your control, you may need to reconsider your expectations for the holidays. Give yourself permission to understand that it is okay if this holiday season is not as happy as you have experienced in previous years. Participate in something you enjoy doing such as reading, exercising, watching a funny or inspiring movie, journaling, or engaging in your favorite hobby, even if it is only for a short period of time.
Be with loved ones and friends - Spend time with those who comfort you. Create some ideas for what you wish to accomplish for the holidays. This can include whether or not you decorate your home, whether to buy gifts for friends and loved ones, or whether to attend holiday events or parties. You make not want to participate in activities you have found enjoyable in the past and that is okay. Don't be afraid to say no to invitations that may be emotionally draining or feel obligated to buy presents for everyone. Keep it simple. If the thought of choosing and wrapping gifts seems too overwhelming, forego gifts altogether or consider gift cards for those on your shopping list. You may also want to consider enlisting a friend to shop for you or help you shop.
Create new traditions - Remind yourself that you may want to create traditions that are different that those you have done in the past. Take each minute, hour, and day as a milestone. Time is part of the healing process. There is no timetable on grief or healing from victimization. It is an ongoing process.
Remember to eat. Nourishment is important in your healing process, but many individuals experience nausea and loss of appetite. Choose drinks or foods that you can tolerate to keep up your calorie intake. Water is important for hydration and flavored drink add-ins may make it more palatable to keep you from getting dehydrated. Consider smoothies, shakes, or any other foods that are calorie and vitamin rich, even in small quantities. Keep alcohol to a minimum. It can exacerbate your grief and loss and rarely numbs the pain for any length of time. Unless prescribed to you by a physician, decline the offer of sleeping pills, anxiety medication, or other medication offered by well meaning friends and family to help you cope.
Accept help - Friends and family want to help, but often ask you to tell them what you need. Here is a list of tasks they can help you with during and after the holidays:
• Ask them to cook a meal or several; freeze one for a future meal
• Help with home repairs or chores such as house cleaning or laundry
• Baby-sit for you if you have children
• Do some shopping for you
• Help with phone calls that need to be made
• Do some driving errands for you or accompany you on errands
If you are feeling sad, overwhelmed, or depressed, talk to someone. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a family member, friend, or your clergy, or if you are alone, seek grief counselors, support groups, or programs specific to your victimization. The Resources to Help page has a list of resources available in the Broomfield area. You may also call Victim Services for additional referrals.
After a crime, victims and witnesses often feel alone, isolated, helpless, and unable to reach out for assistance. A victim advocate can help victims and witnesses by providing:
Crisis Intervention & Follow-Up
Advocates can assist in sorting through the confusing feelings victims may experience immediately following a crime or traumatic event, as well as later on. Advocates can help a victim manage one part of the problem at a time and regain control.
Resources and Referrals
Advocates use community resources, as well as the victim's own resources, to help build a network of support. Many resources are available in the community, including, but not limited to: financial assistance, victim compensation funds; counseling; legal resources; medical resources; transportation; household assistance; child care; assistance in dealing with creditors, employers, and landlords; services for victims with special needs; and translation services.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime and need assistance, please call the Victim Services Unit.
New Victim Advocate recruitment begins each February and training is held every April to maintain adequate volunteer staffing. Applicants are screened through background investigation and an interview process. Monthly advocate training is provided regularly by the Broomfield Victim Services Unit to ensure that information is disseminated to victim advocates, and to provide them with comprehensive victim services training.