Twentynine Palms --
The Victim’s Legal Counsel Organization is here to help. According to Capt. Benjamin Goodrich, the Victims’ Legal Counsel of the Western Region, the mission of the VLCO is to educate and advocate for their clients,. Goodrich provides education for his clients by informing them about the processes of the military justice system.
“I educate people on the military justice system, and their rights and the options that are available to them,” Goodrich said. “Most people aren’t aware of their options or how those options can affect their decisions down the road. I provide counsel throughout the entire legal process.”
According to Goodrich, clients have voices that can, at times, be overlooked throughout investigations and trial processes; the VLC is there to ensure the client’s voice is heard.
“Clients have interests, and their interests need someone to advocate for them, be it any time between pre-investigation to post-trial,” Goodrich said. “I can represent their needs for them to investigators, their command, judges and attorneys to ensure their needs are met.”
The VLC’s services are available to all active duty service members, reservists serving on active duty and former members entitled to retired or retainer pay, military dependents of service members and retirees, and all Department of Defense employees who are victims of sexual assault.
In order to contact the VLC, call the VLCO office at 760-830-5162/5159. To contact the VLC outside of business hours, call 760-212-6889. The VLC is available for contact at all hours.
“I am here to provide a service for the victims, whenever they need me,” Goodrich said.
To report a sexual assault, call the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response support hotline at 760-830-0273, get in contact with the installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at 760-401-230 or contact with a Uniformed Victim Advocate. In addition, victims can file reports with Naval Criminal Investigative Service by calling 760-830-6275, or Provost Marshal Office at 760-830-6800.