Victim Support Team

About VST

The Victim Support Team (VST) provides short term advocacy and resources to victims of violent crimes. The primary goal is to listen to survivors, help them identify what next step they want to take, address immediate safety concerns, and offer connections to resources in the community and within the Criminal Justice System.

Services

VST can provide transportation, help to locate shelter or safe housing, and offer essential needs such as: hygiene supplies, food, and clothing. Through a trauma-informed lens, VST offers tailored referrals to culturally-relevant resources. Safety planning is survivor-centered and empowerment based. Through collaboration with system-based partners, VST also supports in navigating the legal system. As a government program, all services are non-confidential.

If you need help:

  • If you'd like to report a crime, please call 9-1-1.
  • If you'd like to connect to Victim Support Team services, please leave a message on our voicemail line: (206) 684-7721 or email VictimSupportTeam@seattle.gov.
  • To access confidential advocacy, you can contact the DVHopeline 24/7 at (206) 737-024 (online chat available).
  • If you're searching for ways to support someone else who may be struggling in their relationship, please refer to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Friends and Family Guide.

VST Roles

Advocacy

The VST staff advocate is a full-time civilian employee of HSD, and is co-located at SPD. This position provides critical support to survivors Monday through Friday, and works closely with the CSS Crime Victim Advocates, SPD follow-up units, other System Based Advocates at the City and County, and the VST Volunteer team.

Volunteer Program

Community Volunteers with the Victim Support Team operate in-person on the weekends as a mobile crisis response team, and during the week offering remote phone advocacy.

  • WEEKEND MOBILE ADVOCACY VOLUNTEERS
    VST was created to fill the gap in services that exists on the weekends when other systems and resources are not available. In-person shifts happen throughout the weekend. Working in pairs, volunteers provide crisis intervention both in-person and over the phone. Requests for volunteer services come from a wide range of sources, including patrol officers, detectives, prosecutors, ER social workers, and system-based advocates. Seattle Police officers can request that VST respond in-person to domestic violence scenes once the situation has been assessed for safety concerns.
  • REMOTE ADVOCACY VOLUNTEERS
    A new opportunity emerged during the pandemic for volunteers to offer the same essential and timely support to survivors remotely. Through innovation on digital platforms, volunteers in this role are able to offer robust services from home.

Our Partners

Seattle Police Foundation- Donations for the VST program are being accepted through the Seattle Police Foundation.  The Seattle Police Foundation is a non-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible (501C3 # 91-2171529).  Donations make it possible for VST to provide emergency resources for victims such as bus tickets, grocery store gift certificates, locksmiths, hotel nights, and emergency relocation assistance.

Seattle Fire Department - Provides our volunteers with the necessary training on biohazard and injury prevention.  

Seattle/King County Emergency Feeding Program Supplies VST with family-sized food bags and smaller snack packs for families in crisis.

Westside Baby- Collects, inspects and distributes free diapers, clothing, and safety gear for the babies and children that VST serve. 

New Beginnings  - Two representatives from New Beginnings provide domestic violence training to the VST volunteers.  The VST program also coordinates services for domestic violence victims with New Beginnings as well several other DV agencies in the area.