The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has created the Victim Services and Outreach Division to focus resources on victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other vulnerable victims, the office announced Thursday.
The new division has launched the Victim Advocates’ Network, an informal group that will coordinate with other victim-services groups and victim-advocacy workers statewide. The new division has reorganized its various victim services under the direction of Assistant Attorney General Abigail Kuzma, former director of consumer protection who is now chief counsel of the Victim Services and Outreach Division.
“Across our state, in domestic violence shelters, hospitals, police stations and courthouses, advocates for crime victims do brave, compassionate work in helping innocent people who have been traumatized by horrible crimes. In keeping with the victims’ rights provision in the Indiana Constitution and state statute, my office as the legal counsel for all three branches of government will reach out to assist our colleagues from agencies and groups in their important work helping victims,” Zoeller said.
As part of this new initiative, the AG’s office will publish a victim’s rights handbook that will be available online and for distribution to advocates and social services providers that will explain in layman’s terms the legal rights crime victims are entitled to under the federal and state constitutions, Indiana Code and administrative rules.
The Victim Services and Outreach Division is funded with existing resources in the AG’s Office.