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Rural Community Dynamics
Victim/Witness Assistance in Rural Communities
Overcoming Challenges to Serving Rural Victims
   Geographic Isolation
   Overcoming Geographic

   Lack of Community

   Overcoming Lack of
    Community Resources

   Lack of Internal
   Overcoming Lack of
    Internal Resources

   Advocate Training, Education,
    and Professionalism

   Needs of Specific Populations
Promising Practices in Rural Prosecutors' Offices
Supplementary Material

Advocate Training, Education, and Professionalism

It is essential for victim service providers to receive comprehensive and up-to-date training. But factors such as a lack of educational resources, being unaware of potential sources, or even indifference to the importance of training often result in providers not receiving this valuable element of their professional development. According to a 1994 survey conducted by the National Institute of Justice on more than 300 victim assistance programs nationwide, nearly half of the programs reported that they had provided neither preservice nor inservice training to their paid staff or volunteers (Tomz and McGillis 1997). The situation is worse in rural areas, where service providers must factor in isolation from, and large distances to, training resources as well. In fact, most of the jurisdictions surveyed by APRI indicated that their advocates learned on the job. In spite of the obstacles, sources of training and technical assistance for advocates do exist. Additional training about victims' rights is equally important for the law enforcement community.

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