BSO VICTIM ADVOCATES NAVIGATE VICTIMS THROUGH THE HEALING PROCESS

Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 21-4-28                                    Date: April 28, 2021

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Meet the three guardian angels of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.⠀
Victim advocates Debra Burton, Ruby Ferguson and Rosemary Evans Baker have more than 90 years of combined experience assisting victims of violent crimes and intervening in crises. They have responded to mass violence incidents such as the 9/11 tragedy in New York, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy.⠀
"We see people at their absolute worst, but we bring them comfort and help them get to a new normalcy," Burton said.⠀
The role of a victim advocate is to help with emotional trauma resulting from a crime and the physical welfare of the victims and witnesses. They provide crisis intervention, short-term counseling and referrals, criminal justice information, court support and emergency assistance for shelter, food and basic physical needs arising from being victimized. ⠀⠀

The advocates also deliver valuable training to the community, educational institutions, faith-based organizations and social service groups to educate and empower those who may become victims.⠀
Despite the challenges, the positive impact they make during one of the most challenging times of someone's life is what keeps them going.⠀

"It can be difficult at times, but I love doing what I do and helping people in their greatest time of need," Baker said. "We are making a difference."⠀
"We empower people," Ferguson added.⠀

THIS REPORT BY:
Miranda Grossman/PIO