Victims Assistance Resources
Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) & Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) serve all of Niagara County and has a 24/7 on-call availability for all Niagara County law enforcement agencies.
The DVIP, established in 1994, provides Niagara County domestic violence victims access to services and entry into the criminal justice system through early intervention to provide the safety and support. Every Domestic Incident Report filed with law enforcement agencies is acted upon shortly after an incident occurs. The Victim Services Coordinator and Crime Victim Advocates provide support and advocacy which includes:
• Safety planning
• Danger Assessment
• Referrals to appropriate services
• Court accompaniment
• Meetings with District Attorney’s
• Assistance in obtaining Orders of Protection
Awareness about domestic violence is provided through trainings and presentations to improve community responses to domestic violence.
• Dynamics of Domestic Violence - Power and Control
• Effects of Domestic Violence on Victims and Children
• Teen Dating Violence
• Effective Response to Domestic Violence
• Resources Available for Victims
• Training for law enforcement, medical personnel, educators, court staff, service providers and community groups
The VAU, established in 1989, provides comprehensive direct services to crime victims of all crime types in Niagara County. Five Crime Victim Advocates work as liaisons between the victim and law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office to make the criminal justice process easier to navigate. The VAU’s primary mission is to provide comprehensive, specialized services that are tailored to the specific needs of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse (both physical & sexual), surviving family members of homicide victims, assault, robbery, DWI, arson, elder abuse, human trafficking and property crimes. The unit is funded by New York State Office of Victim Services and Niagara County. Services include:
- Outreach to explain VAU and New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) services. OVS offers compensation for medical expenses, counseling expenses, funeral costs, loss of wages, and essential personal property to eligible crime victims.
- Home/hospital/off-site visits (to assist in filing OVS compensation claims, supportive counseling and follow up services)
- Transportation and accompaniment to police interviews, court proceedings, and medical examinations.
- Referrals to appropriate services
- Advocacy on the victim’s behalf with other agencies such as OVS, courts, law enforcement, District Attorney's Office, insurance companies, medical providers, and employers, etc.
- Crisis intervention provided at the crime scene or hospital (24 hour on-call availability)
- Telephone and in-person crisis counseling
Cell Phone Donations
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services works with the 911 Cell Phone Bank, a program endorsed by the National Sheriff’s Association, to collect used cell phones for victims to dial 911. Newer phones in good condition are given to local victims to aid in their safety planning, and the remainder of the phones collected are sent to a distribution center to be refurbished or recycled. If you have a cell phone you would like to donate, please contact the Victim Services at (716)438-3301.
Local help is available. Agencies throughout Niagara County offer domestic violence (DV) hotlines, emergency shelter, counseling, support groups and assistance in the court system for victims and their families:
Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Lockport (716)438-3301, Niagara Falls (716)286-4570
Victim Assistance Unit (all crime types) Lockport (716)438-3306, Niagara Falls (DV) (716)286-4570
Pinnacle Community Services, (716)285-6984 Hotline (716)299-0909
YWCA of Niagara Frontier, (716)433-6716
Crisis Services, (716)285-3515
NYS Child Abuse Hotline, 1(800)635-1522
* Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, immigration status or having a criminal record.
New York State