News & Announcements

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: October 24, 2023

Loudoun Sheriff Announces Victim Advocate Unit


Loudoun County, Virginia (October 24, 2023) – The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) today announced the launch of a Victim Advocate Unit (VAU) within its Criminal Investigations Division as a pilot program to better serve victims of domestic violence and related crimes before there has been a referral for prosecution. 

During the 12-month period ending September 30, 2023, the LCSO received more than 1,100 calls for service related to domestic violence, including calls related to verbal and/or misdemeanor and physical assaults. 

The VAU will intervene immediately as cases are referred from the LCSO’s Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) or other units to ensure that victims receive personal support and case-specific resources, regardless of whether the incident involves criminal charges.

“Our Victim Advocate Unit will be an immediate resource for domestic violence and other crime victims, who often don’t know where to go for help in highly stressful situations and before long-term assistance can be secured,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman.

Examples of VAU outreach include providing referrals to juvenile support services, assisting with applications for the Virginia Victims Fund, and providing resources for those facing financial and housing challenges.

“Many of the stressors that contribute to domestic incidents can be addressed through support services available here in Loudoun County,” said Chapman. “Connecting individuals with these services right away will help them in their time of crisis and may prevent more incidents from occurring.” 

The VAU represents a further realignment of the LCSO to meet the needs of Loudoun County citizens and best allocate its personnel. It will work cooperatively with LAWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services and other stakeholders and complement the work of the Victim Witness Program of the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney (OCA) as well as victim assistance provided through Loudoun County Community Corrections.  

Initial staffing includes two LCSO detectives and a sergeant with extensive experience in domestic violence casework and victim outreach.  Their assignment to the VAU represents a reallocation of the LCSO’s currently budgeted resources, and the team has been working together since the summer to develop this initiative.

The LCSO expects it will require up to eighteen months to gather information, coordinate with agency partners, assess operations, and develop corresponding policies. Once this pilot period is complete, the LCSO contemplates a more comprehensive program that would ultimately be managed by civilian personnel and expand beyond domestic violence to include victims of other serious personal and property crimes where there is an identifiable gap in service.

Incorporating victim advocate units into existing law enforcement agencies is a recognized best practice nationwide. Further, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a strong proponent of victim advocate-type initiatives, along with the decentralization of law enforcement services in furtherance of more effective management and corresponding results. The management realignment announced by the LCSO in June 2023 was based in part on recommendations made by the IACP in its 2022 report to the Board of Supervisors and includes the expansion of the LCSO’s community outreach, financial crimes unit, patrols, and new Victim Advocate Unit.

# # #

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Sheriff's Office

image of sheriff's vehicle and badge with the words media release

LCSO Deputy Returns Home After Injury

Posted on: January 29, 2024
image of sheriff's vehicle and badge with the words media release

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Fentanyl Dealer

Posted on: January 26, 2024 | Last Modified on: July 28, 2021
image of sheriff's vehicle and badge with the words media release

LCSO Recognizes Graduates from the 57th Crisis Intervention Training Program

Posted on: January 26, 2024 | Last Modified on: July 28, 2021
image of sheriff's vehicle and badge with the words media release

Arrest Made in May Stabbing Incident

Posted on: December 21, 2023
image of sheriff's vehicle and badge with the words media release

LCSO Investigating Stabbing in Sterling

Posted on: November 11, 2023
Crash website

Deceased Identified in Fatal Crash

Posted on: October 26, 2023
Press release website

Residents Beware of Jury Duty Scam

Posted on: May 11, 2023
Press release website

LCSO Arrests Two Suspects in Burglary

Posted on: February 11, 2023
Press release website

LCSO Arrests Area Man in Stabbing

Posted on: February 6, 2023
Press release website

LCSO Investigating Robbery in Sterling

Posted on: November 28, 2022

Manassas Man Dies in Workplace Accident

Posted on: November 26, 2022
Press release website

Daycare Employee Charged with Child Abuse

Posted on: November 18, 2022
Missing website

Aldie Teenager Located

Posted on: October 28, 2022
Press release website

LCSO Investigating Robbery in Leesburg

Posted on: October 13, 2022
Press release website

Stone Colburn Arrested in Pooler, GA

Posted on: October 7, 2022

Thank You Loudoun County!

Posted on: December 2, 2019