First Digital Victim Advocate Program Launched In California

By on September 6, 2020

Last month, San Bernardino District Attorney’s office officially launched the Digital Victim Advocate Program, possibly even making the program the first of its kind.

With more and more people in the community becoming accustomed to using their computers, tablets and mobile phones for everything in their day-to-day lives, the Digital Victim Advocate Program is setting the example for how to be more accessible to the community, especially victims and witnesses.

District Attorney Jason Anderson recognized that victims still needed to have contact with their victim advocates and that a victim advocate should be available to the online community to answer questions, provide support, and follow-up on individual cases.

“Our hope for this program is to reaffirm the communities’ trust and confidence in our office and the services we provide,” said Jason Anderson, District Attorney. “All too often, people forget that our office exists to protect victims and fight for them and their rights. This new way of communicating takes us one step closer in helping the communities we serve.”

Victim Advocate Ryan Isenberg is the Program’s first DVA and has been with the DA’s office for three years. In addition to her duties as the new digital victim advocate, Ryan will continue to work on crimes against children and adult sexual assault cases. She is on the district attorney’s crisis response team and serves as the secondary handler to K9 court facility dog, Dozer.

Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in criminology, with an emphasis in victimology. She started her career in victim services at a rape crisis center in Central California in 2012, where she moved from intern to crisis counselor. She holds state certifications in domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and victim/witness assistance. She is experienced in the facilitation of domestic violence support groups.

Flerida Alarcon, who is the bureau chief for the district attorney’s victim services bureau, said, “We have seen the impact the pandemic is having across the world and how technology is being used now more than ever.  I believe it’s critical that victims of crime who may be isolated are able to reach out to a victim advocate to receive much-needed services using their preferred method of communication. Our office remains committed to supporting our community in times of crisis. The digital victim advocacy program will allow us to provide additional services using technology and social media platforms.”

If you believe you are a victim of a digital crime, visit the Digital Victim Advocate Program page.