Victim of a crime? The Crime Victims Assistance Center can help you

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Crime Victims Assistance Center provides a safe and welcoming environment for people who are victims or affected by a criminal act.

Campus Advocate Coordinator Haley Murphy said the Center for Victims of Crime has been supporting victims of crime for more than 40 years.

“We support all victims of crime, from children to adults and even the elderly,” Murphy said. “My role is specifically for students in the area and to make sure that when they are victims of crime they understand what their rights are and understand that there are people from our agency and other agencies and professionals in the area are there to really make sure they can heal and fight.

Murphy said the warning signs of being a victim of crime vary.

“Any kind of crime that can cause pain and suffering to another person, there’s really no right way to react after being the victim of a crime,” Murphy said. “Sometimes this requires counseling or law enforcement support, but it really varies depending on the nature of the crime and its severity.”

Assistant director of youth services Dan Lesch said he oversees the child advocacy center at the crime victim assistance center.

“It serves as a logistical hub for physical or sexual child abuse investigations,” Lesch said. “Unfortunately, it’s a silent epidemic. Child abuse is a silent epidemic and the more we talk about it and the more we discuss it, the more families can feel together.”

Murphy has declared April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month and also Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Later in April we will have Victims of Crime Week and we really want to raise awareness of all these issues,” Murphy said.

Murphy noted that Child Abuse Prevention Month is represented by the color blue and they encourage people to wear blue on April 1.

For a complete list of services, visit the Crime Victims Assistance Center website here.

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