Laurel Police Department advocating for abuse victims

Laurel victims advocate serves domestic violence survivors

LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - For a victim of a violent crime, the days and weeks that follow can be difficult to handle. That’s why a victim’s advocate can be helpful during a stressful time.

“My main goal is servicing the victim because it’s not about me, it’s about them," said Melicia Cooper, victims advocate for the Laurel Police Department. “And it’s not about the police department it’s about them. It’s any violent crime we make sure our victim is safe and our victim feels safe.”

Victims of domestic violence rely on her to help them through a difficult time.

Cooper said at times, victims don’t come forward for fear of having to face their accused attacker in court, so Cooper helps them through the process.

“I assist the victim in court, during trial days," Cooper said. “To make sure they’re comfortable in court.”

She can also place the victim in a shelter if they need to leave their home due to domestic abuse.

“We have resources as in the Domestic Abuse Family Center and the Schaefer Center," Cooper said. “The Schaefer Center is the sexual assault center.”

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-898-3234.

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