IF YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME . . .
The top priorities for police departments and all law enforcement personnel are to prevent crime from occurring and to seek punishment for those who perpetrate illegal crimes. Unfortunately, in our complex society, it is not possible to stop all criminal activity. For those individuals touched by crime each year, the following information is made available to provide some understanding of the rights afforded victims of crime, as well as some useful resources.
Crime victims can become lost in a justice system that is geared to prosecuting criminals. Thankfully, during the last three decades, there has been increasing sensitivity to the needs and rights of crime victims on the part of the criminal justice system.
If you are a victim or witness of a crime, your state’s Crime Victims’ Handbook or similar publication describes the process of participating in the criminal justice system. It also advises of your rights and of the state and local services that may be available to assist you. In addition, you can find definitions of legal and law enforcement terms in the glossary that may be useful to you.
Help is available through many of the resources discussed below. Of course, feel free to contact Jeri Elster via email through this website if it would be beneficial in any way.
USEFUL DOCUMENTS, ORGANIZATIONS AND/OR PROGRAMS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR AREA
Crime Victims’ Handbook
Neighborhood Watch Brochure/Organizing Guide
Rape Crisis Center and Organizations Against Sexual Assault
Family Violence Support Organizations and Groups
Take a Stand/Take Back the Night (College Campus Programs)
Taking Back Your Neighborhood Program
Victim-Witness Assistance Program
The Victim-Witness Assistance Program’s mission is to alleviate the trauma and devastating effects of crime on the lives of victims and their families. Victim advocates guide victims through the court process, help victims receive restitution, provide crisis intervention, and provide referrals to counseling and community services.
Because Victim-Witness Assistance Program staff members are located at numerous sites throughout your area, crime victims and their families are assisted as closely as possible to their home.