A guide for victims after crime

October 27, 2007

15 years ago, Tina Healy of Victoria, Australia was a victim of rape and robbery. The man responsible was found two months later. Something that should have caused a bit of relief to Healy. But it didn’t.

Ms Healy said nothing prepared her for when her attacker was caught two months later and then having to go through the legal system.

She said there was no guide to tell her what to expect.

“There was just a lot of things I did not know, and of course every victim that comes into the system is a babe in the woods,” Ms Healy said. (link)

Healy found this to be a common case with several other victims she spoke to. So she, alongside other victims like her, worked with the Victorian police to put together a downloadable manual that would address already familiar concerns for new victims, “A Victim’s Guide to Support Services and the Criminal Justice System.”

Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon said the statement and booklet followed extensive community consultation over the past 12 months, along with the input of victims of crime, such as Ms Healy, over several years.

It is actually also a mutual guide for the police to better help the victim.

“We think we can do better than we have before,” Ms Nixon said.

“This new document will help police officers understand exactly how they can go about assisting people who’ve been victims of crime, but also it will allow the victims to know what they can expect when they become a victim of crime.”

The guide has information applicable internationally, minus, of course, the specific contact information — those are only relevant to members of the Victorian community.

You may both view and download the guide at the official Victoria’s Department of Justice Web site.

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