The scope of victims’ rights amendments varies from state to state. Many are limited to victims of felonies or victims of violent offenses. A few specifically extend to victims of juvenile offenders. In general, the amendments give victims constitutional rights to:
Under Indiana Code 35-40, a victim has the following rights:
How the Victim Assistance Program Can Help?
Being a victim of a crime can be a frightening experience. You may be suffering physical injury, financial loss, and emotional harm. You may be angry or afraid and feel like your world has been turned upside down. You may experience difficulty relating to friends or family or feel you can't trust anyone. Others (or even you) may mistakenly think you are to blame for the crime. All of these are normal reactions of crime victims - you are not going crazy!
Most people do not understand the criminal justice system. It is confusing and complex. Unlike television, cases are not resolved in an hour. In fact, your case may take months before it evens comes to trial. You do not need to face this alone - a professional victim advocate is available to help you from shortly after the crime is committed until its resolution - no matter how long it takes.
A victim advocate can help you in many ways:
~ Provide crisis counseling, emotional support and guidance
~ Help you develop a safety plan for your protection
~ Explain to you how the court system works
~ Give you specific information about your case including dates and times of hearings
~ Refer you to community services (therapist, shelter, emergency financial, etc.)
~ Assist you in filing for Violent Crime Compensation to cover medical, counseling, wage loss or funeral expenses
~ Attend court proceedings with you
~ Provide you with a secure waiting area if you need to testify
~ Assist you with victim impact statements at sentencing hearings
~ Provide information about the restitution process, and refer you to those who determine restitution
~ Provide referral to information on parole hearings, appeals and other post-conviction relief
If you have a disability, are the parent of a child or dependent victim, or are elderly, we will make every attempt to meet your specific needs. Please let us know so we can assist you more effectively. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, national origin, religious belief or sexual orientation. There is no charge for our services.
As a victim of a violent crime, you are not alone. Referring to a past year staff documented a total of 3,151 interactions between victims and the criminal justice system in Vigo County. The criminal justice system is confusing and complex. At times it seems like the offenders have all the rights. We are working hard to balance the scales of justice and make sure your voice is heard.