‘Victims matter’: Salt Lake County DA rolls out new division for victims of crime

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office is rolling out a new division aimed to bring hope, healing, and justice to victims of a violent crime.

“Victims matter. And we care about you,” said District Attorney Sim Gill.

Gill wants victims of violent crimes to know their voices are heard and there’s support in a new way than ever before.

At a press conference Thursday, the DA’s office announced the creation of the Victim Support Services Division that begins immediately.

“This will become the largest, single division in the Salt Lake County DA’s office and there’s not a single prosecutor on it,” Gill said. “Rather, they are social workers, and mental health providers and other folks who are in the social services need.”

“We’re raising the bar on the quality of services and there’s going to be substantial benefits – both to the victim and to the case outcomes,” said Susanne Mitchell, the Children’s Justice Center director.

Whether a person is a direct or indirect victim, Gill said individuals will not be excluded by the nature of the crime. Rather, the trauma.

“We’re going to look at the trauma that is driving that contact with us and try to meet that need; whatever that need might be for that particular person,” Gill said.

In addition to the Victim Support Services, a camp for 35 young victims will be held from June 27 to July 4.

“Camp Hope is going to be incredible,” Gill said. “Children ages 7-12 who have suffered incredible trauma who are for the first time able to go to a place of just joy, happiness.”

Officials with the DA’s office said they hope to expand the number of attendees and create other opportunities for families.

Gill also said other divisions – like the Children’s Justice Center –are not impacted by this addition.

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