Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12WWW.STLOUISCOUNTYMN.GOVCOUNTYATTORNEY 5 Patty Wheeler VictimWitness Director Duluth Office Anne Fisk Lori Ulvi Virgina Office Michael OBryan Hibbing Office Elaine Lee VictimWitness Division The woman didnt want to testify against the boyfriend who had beaten her. The womans sister wanted to help her but wasnt sure that she wanted to involve her own young son who had witnessed the assault. The VictimWitness Services Division worked with the victim her sister and the young boy and justice was achieved when the assailant was convicted of domestic assault after the brave boy testified in court that he saw his aunt being assaulted. It was another case of a victim and those who care about them being given voices through the VictimWitness division. The goal of the division is to provide comprehensive services to victims and witnesses of crime to help ease the physical emotional and financial hardships caused by criminal victimization and to reduce the confusion and inconvenience that might be caused by involvement in the criminal justice system. We take great pride in having created a program to help victims to let them know that they are being listened to and to make sure they know that someone cares said Patty Wheeler director of the division. Wheeler heads up a staff that makes initial contact with a victim by letter informing them of the charges filed against the offender. Included in that letter is a brochure explaining their rights as a victim and a request for them to call the office so that advocates can get input from them and address any questions or concerns they may have. The five-person staff works out of the St. Louis County courthouses in Duluth Virginia and Hibbing and annually handles thousands of calls texts and e-mails from victims and witnesses. Its a great staff a staff that cares about people Wheeler said. They understand peoples needs and will go above and beyond to help them. Theyre just good people. The division is responsible for ensuring that the Minnesota Crime Victims Rights laws are upheld. Victims are often feeling afraid or confused and witnesses might be frustrated or even angry with a system they do not understand and isnt very victim friendly. However information about court advocacy notification of hearing dates trial preparation working with other community programs to support them and a myriad of other issues are competently and compassionately dealt with by the advocates. To make sure that victims needs are met and that they receive the comprehensive support and services that they need the division works closely with Safe Haven the American Indian Community Housing Organization First Witness Child Advocacy Center the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault the Sexual Assault Program of Northern St. Louis County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project Men as Peacemakers Advocates for Family Peace Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Churches United in Ministry. The division still deals with reluctant victims and reluctant witnesses as Wheeler explains A lot of victims after testifying in court will say It wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be. Usually the anticipation is worse than actually being there. They worry about the defendant being there in the courtroom but afterwards they are usually glad that they testified. VICTIM WITNESS DIVISION