By Dania Bardavid
Office of the Judge Advocate General
Legalman 2nd Class Lisa Martin, Region Legal Service Office Southeast, received the Outstanding Victim Advocate award during the 28th annual observation of National Victim’s Rights week, hosted by the Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council (VAAC) in Jacksonville, Fla., April 25.
During each annual National Victim’s Rights week, individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievements on behalf of crime victims and victim’s rights are recognized. The Outstanding Victim Advocate award is presented to someone who has demonstrated excellence, compassion, and dedication in working for the welfare of victims, improvement of victim’s services, and protection of victim’s rights.
Martin was selected to receive this award for her support to a victim involved in a recent General Court-Martial convened at Naval Station Mayport. Martin served as the victim advocate for a woman who suffered physical assaults allegedly committed by her former boyfriend. At trial, the jury convicted the accused of offenses committed against other victims but acquitted him of the offenses allegedly committed against the victim to whom Martin provided direct support. The woman became very emotional and suggested that she might harm herself as a result of the verdict.
“At that point, Martin leapt into action and obtained additional resources to help the victim, including the help of the government’s psychological expert witness in the case,” said Cmdr. Rob Monahan, executive officer of Region Legal Service Office Southeast. Monahan added, “When the psychologist recommended that the client receive in-patient treatment at a local hospital, Martin accompanied the victim to the hospital and stayed with her late into the night until she was admitted. Afterwards, Martin called her frequently during her hospitalization to check on her, drove her to the airport upon release from the hospital, and later confirmed that she had made it safely back to her residence.”
The Mayor’s VAAC presented four victim’s rights awards in addition to the Outstanding Victim Advocate award: the Courageous Victim award was presented to a victim of crime who has shown the courage to speak out and make a difference regarding fair treatment of victims in the criminal justice system and in our community, the Judicial Victim Advocate award was presented to an individual (prosecutor, judge, or other judicial professional) who has demonstrated sensitivity and responsiveness to victims’ rights, the Law Enforcement Victim Advocate award was presented to an individual (police officer, correctional officer or other professional) who has demonstrated sensitivity and responsiveness to victims’ rights, and the Media award was presented to an individual, corporation, or organization that has demonstrated respect for the dignity of victims of crime and sensitivity to victim issues.