An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection
The Little Book of Restorative Justice
God and the Victim: Theological Reflections on Evil, Victimization, Justice, and Forgiveness
Victimology: Legal, Psychological, and Social Perspectives
Basic Victim Rights
Current federal and state laws currently in place general give victims at least a minimal coverage of rights. Some of these are outlined below. For the specifics in your state, make sure to check the state by state listings.The right to attend and/or participate in criminal justice proceedings
The victim can attend the trial, sentencing, and/or the parole. Many states also allow the victim to make an oral or written statement to be considered by the court or parole board at such proceedings. Many of you may remember the emotional televised statements from families of victims of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Victims are increasingly being given the right to attend and sometimes address the court at other critical proceedings in the criminal justice process, such as:
This may not only include notification to the victim or their family of scheduled criminal proceedings and their outcomes, but also advance notice of proceedings where the victim has the right to attend and/or make a statement, as well as when hearings have been canceled and rescheduled. The right to be notified is a crucial one, because without it, victims cannot adequately pursue their other rights.The right to notification of other legal remedies
Victims may also have the right to be informed of the option to sue the offender for money damages in the civil justice system, to collect witness fees for their testimony, as well as other rights.The right to protection from intimidation and harassment
The right to protection from intimidation and harassment by the offender or their family or associates may be extended to the victim's family members, as well as the victim. In the event you receive threats, bribes, or other attempts to persuade or intimidate you into testifying untruthfully, to forget, or to make yourself unavailable as a witness, report it immediately to law enforcement.
If you are the victim of domestic violence (violence within the family) or repeat violence (two incidents), you can file an injunction for protection with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Other kinds of protection include:
At your request, the State Attorney or Sheriff can inform your employer that your cooperation in their investigation and prosecution of the case may necessitate your absence from work. At your request, they can also contact your creditors to seek their consideration if you are unable, temporarily, to continue payments as a result of the crime. Credit card companies are usually willing to suspend interest and payments if notified of the situation by an authority.The right to confidentiality of records
Unlike many other criminal cases, police and court records are not public record if they involve a juvenile or if the case deals with sexual assault or rape. These records are usually only available to the attorneys and parties to the case.
Victims' Rights: A Reference Handbook
The right to speedy trial provisions
Usually, this Constitutional right is used as a tactic by defense attorneys to rush the prosecution to court before they have all their ducks in a proverbial row. But this is a two-edged sword. As a victim, YOU have the right to a speedy trial also.The right to prompt return of the victim's personal property seized as evidence from the offender
This can include photos, clothing, recordings, letters etc.Access to the profits when offenders sell the stories of their crimes
Why should the assailant get rich sitting in jail at YOUR expense? most states have provisions which prevent offenders from selling or making substantial income from selling books or scripts based on their crimes.Victim compensation and restitution
State victim compensation programs are designed to provide financial assistance to victims and, in some cases, to family members and other eligible persons. Usually, a victim must have suffered actual physical harm or other tangible loss. Keep track of your losses such as destroyed or stolen property and cost of any emotional counseling. This includes medical bills AND lost wages as a result of the abusers actions.
In most states, a victim must fully cooperate with law enforcement and prosecution efforts in order to qualify for compensation. Restitution, on the other hand, is ordered by the court or in some states, by the paroling authority making the offender pay for the financial loss of the victim. However, as a rule, neither victim compensation nor restitution include punitive damages for injury or loss suffered by the victim. A lawsuit in civil court is usually required to recover punitive damages.
Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims