Meigs Victim Assistance Office serves more than 500 in 2016

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The Meigs County Victim Services Program served a total of 507 new victims of crime in 2016 according to an end of the year report from program director Theda Petrasko.

Petrasko provided The Daily Sentinel a copy of the report which she submitted to new Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley earlier this week.

The report details all activity for the program for the past year, including civil protection orders, crisis responses, hearings attended and various trainings.

“In 2016, Meigs County had 507 new victims affected by crime and were served through the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program,” the report states. The 507 does not include victims from previous years who are still being served by the office.

Of those 507, the highest number (126) were domestic violence victims. A total of 117 protection orders were filed with 259 requests.

Number of crime victims served by type of crime were as follows:

  • Adult physical assault — 33
  • Adult sexual assault — 6
  • Arson — 13
  • Burglaries — 29
  • Child abuse/endangering — 37
  • Child sexual assaults — 9
  • Domestic violence — 126
  • ID fraud, unauthorized use of credit cards/checks — 48
  • Kidnapping — 2
  • Robbery — 29
  • Stalking/harassment — 53
  • Homicides — 2
  • Violating protection orders — 3
  • Protection orders filed — 117 (259 requests)

Those victims, and those from previous years, were served in numerous ways, including referrals, attending hearings and follow up information.

A total of 2,442 letters were mailed by the office, 1,872 phone or fax follow ups, 245 crisis responses, 222 referrals to other social services and 188 follow ups on parole board hearings, probation violations and other events.

Advocates attended 556 hearing in Meigs County Court with victims and 976 hearings in Meigs County Common Pleas Court with victims.

Forty victims were eligible for the Ohio Victim of Crime Compensation Program. This program is an application process and is a secondary provider for physical and emotional harm caused by the crime and funerals for homicide victims. This figure does not include the number of victims who received attorneys for civil protection order full hearings.

The program is grant funded through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for crime victim services.

The program was staffed by Petrasko and full-time advocate/secretary Shelley Kemper during 2016. With additional grant funding provided, Alexis Schwab joined the program in a part-time role earlier this week.

In addition to the grant funding for the program, a special mini grants were received during 2016 for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week program and activities, National Organization Victim Assistance (NOVA) training in Atlanta, Georgia for both advocates, Two Days in May training (TDIM), and Ohio Attorney General’s training for Crime Victim Advocates.

By Sarah Hawley