The Special Victims Unit provides specialized assistant district attorneys, victim witness advocates, and state police troopers that focus on cases of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. The Unit is partners with the Norfolk Advocates for Children in Foxborough, a children’s advocacy center, which utilizes a multidisciplinary, culturally sensitive and child-friendly approach
to the investigation of child sexual and physical abuse.
When a child alleges sexual or physical abuse, a SAIN (Sexual Abuse Intervention Network) team is assembled at Norfolk Advocates for Children. The team includes a trained, forensic interviewer, an assistant district attorney and victim witness advocate from the Special Victims Unit, a pediatric nurse trained in child trauma (PediSANE), a Department of Children and Families (DCF) worker, local and/or state police officers, and a mental health consultant. The forensic interviewer conducts the interview of the child and then the remainder of the team observes behind a two-way mirror. Following the interview, team members meet to discuss the investigation, prosecution, victim advocacy, medical follow-up, and mental health referrals. The child and family are provided with victim services and support.
The Special Victims Unit assistant district attorneys and victim witness advocates work with the child and their family throughout the criminal process to ensure the best prosecution of these important cases. For more information regarding the Norfolk Advocates for Children, please see norfolkadvocatesforchildren.com
Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to physical abuse. The Special Victims Unit and Norfolk Advocates for Children are committed to education and community awareness regarding the safety of young children and reducing physical abuse of children and are available to provide training throughout the community.
The Special Victims Unit also leads the Norfolk Child Fatality Review Team. The team, made up of medical professionals, the judiciary and law enforcement officers, regularly meets to review childhood deaths in an effort to decrease the incidents of child deaths. For helpful information regarding safe sleep practices and home safety for infants and young children see the resources below.
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the state agency that receives and responds to child abuse and neglect reports and provides an array of services to children and families across the Commonwealth.
MANDATED REPORTERS The District Attorney’s Office and Norfolk Advocates for Children are committed to providing training and resources for mandated reporters, persons required by law to report physical, sexual or emotional abuse.