Middlesex District Attorney: Victim Witness Services Bureau (Domestic Violence Unit)
Nature and Purpose
The Victim Witness Services Bureau provides information, support and assistance to victims and witnesses of violent crime during the court process. Services are also provided to family members of child victims and homicide victims. The Bureau is made up of Victim Witness Advocates who work in the 12 District Courts of Middlesex County as well as various units, including the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU). The DVU specializes in the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence crimes. The Unit is comprised of prosecutors and victim witness advocates dedicated to protecting victims of abuse and holding offenders accountable.
PULSE students work under the direct supervision of the Victim Witness Advocate in the court to which they are assigned, while receiving extensive training and support from the Deputy Chief of the Victim Witness Services Bureau, Shawn MacMaster. The primary task for interns is to work with victims of domestic violence during the 209A civil restraining order process. Students provide crisis intervention measures, assist victims in completing restraining order applications, help victims compose affidavits, prepare victims for restraining order hearings, appear with victims in court, work with victims to develop individualized safety plans, provide genera, advocacy and emotional support.