ABOUT US

Mission

  • To collaboratively enhance crime victim services in our state.
  • To provide professional development through advancing education (developing, providing and monitoring training).
  • To instill “best practices” policies.
  • To protect the fundamental rights and dignity of crime victims.
  • To remain apprised and well versed on the development of legislation and social policies supporting the interests of crime victims.
  • To provide vision and leadership.
  • To promote mentoring and networking.
Members

Members (most with substantial expertise) have a collective common ground being comprised of Law Enforcement Crime Victim Advocates (LEVAS), Law Enforcement Officers (LEOS), Forensic Interviewers, Investigators and Chiefs throughout our state.

Professionally members must provide direct services to crime victims including but not limited to sexual assault, criminal domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking, and survivors of homicide, fraud and crimes of technology.

Other than the responding Officer and/or Emergency Medical Professionals the Law Enforcement Victim Advocate (LEVA) is the first on scene to protect the wellbeing and legal interests of the victim.

LEADERSHIP

Message from the President

Welcome to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Victim Advocates Association! We are a nonprofit organization duly organized under the laws of the State of South Carolina. We are professionals trained to support crime victims and proudly serve in our state’s law enforcement agencies to uphold the rights of those inflicted with unspeakable injustice.

We are at a pivotal time in our state’s history, with our Legislators taking a stronger stance on reforming our Domestic Violence laws. On January 22, 2015, our House Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill S3, a comprehensive bill which imposes stricter penalties upon violent offenders, protects exploited children, and provides victims with the necessary services to recover. On February 24, 2015 our Senate gave passage (nearly unanimously, 38-3) to this bill which provide law enforcement the ability to arrest violators. Congress has been equally diligent by introducing and/or supporting that would criminalize the commercial exploitation of minors, enhance victim services, and streamline law enforcement resources to better serve victims vulnerable to becoming sex trafficking victims.

This year we are thrilled to have Cindy Crick, Chief of Staff, of United States Congressman Trey Gowdy’s Office with South Carolina Representative Shannon Erikson, South Carolina General Assembly, Chair of the Domestic Violence Reform Committee and Maria Odom, with the United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman on the forefront as our Keynote Speakers for our 2015 Fall Annual Training Conference.

Our workshops will feature some of this state’s most respectable leaders and educators. We are honored and blessed to have persons of such caliber willing to share their expertise on such relevant matters pertaining to crime victims and crime victims’ rights. We sincerely thank those who support this event.

I am also most grateful for my leadership team. Not only are they highly motivated, intelligent and talented, they are unique. They enrich and empower one another with their attributes. I am so humbled with their determination. They refuse to focus on what we cannot do, but on what we can. They are committed and compassionate. By sharing their knowledge and wisdom with one another, they are not only enriching our organization but also themselves. These leaders hold treasures such as honesty, accountability and integrity. They are committed to fostering collaboration and inclusiveness to better serve their victims, the members of our organization, our law enforcement agencies, and community partners with the same rich opportunities they’ve been afforded.

I am confident these leaders will instill their values upon their fellow members who will also grow and follow in our traditions and footsteps for years to come.

I hope you will join us in this journey and embrace the challenge of our one common goal; which is simply to seek justice and those afflicted by the inhumane.

May God continue to bless us…

— Bridget

The Executive Board

President

Bridget-M

Bridget Daly Musteata, Law Enforcement Victim Advocate &

Forensic Interviewer

Duncan Police Department

“Grandma I am now in a club at school called Fuss Busters, we have meetings for kids who are arguing and fighting. We sit down with them to help them settle their differences.”  I’ve always wondered why I truly do what I do but, at this moment I finally understood God’s design. Just knowing that my granddaughter and other children are not just advocating against strife and anger but assisting other children with alternative resolutions and proactive ways to solve problems is so amazing.  I do what I do to assist in breaking the cycles of violence and specifically for the purpose of our children, our next generation.”

Vice President

Diane Watson

Sergeant, Diane Watson, Victim’s Advocate Services

Chester County Sheriff’s Office

“I really care about those that I assist and realize that anyone could be subject to victimization.  I treat my victims the way I would want to be treated.   It is so important to be sensitive and have the understanding that the same situation never affects everyone in the same capacity.”   

Sergeant at Arms

Dennis-Jones

Chief Dennis “Bing” Jones,

Santee Police Department

“My compassion is helping victims in their time of need, showing them that we care.”

Sergeant at Arms

Morris-Davis

Deputy Sheriff, Morris Davis, Investigator, Victim Services,

Richland County Sheriff’s Office

“What I do affords me the rewarding opportunity to help those who are unable or unsure of helping themselves.”

Secretary

Sherry-Rhodes

Sherry Rhodes, MS, Victim Services

South Carolina Department of Corrections &

Program Manager for South Carolina’s Statewide Automated

Victim Information and Notification (SC SAVIN)

“I have a passion for helping victims obtain the information they need to make sound decisions while navigating the criminal justice process.”

Secretary

Nicole-Abrams

Nicole Abrams, MS, Impact of Crime Program Coordinator

Division of Victim Services, S.C. Department of Corrections

“I am passionate about being a LEVA because I love advocating for and empowering victims.”

Treasurer

Donna-Phillips

Donna J. Phillips, Law Enforcement Victim Advocate

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office

“There is no greater reward than to help someone who has been victimized in whatever form and then to watch them transform from victim to SURVIVOR.”

Copyright © 2015 SC LEVA