U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

New Directions From the Field: Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century: Civil Remedies

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This paper presents promising practices and recommendations related to civil remedies for crime victims, based on analyses conducted during a 3-year period by crime victims, representatives from national victim advocacy and service organizations, criminal justice practitioners, allied professionals, and others.
The discussion notes that victims experience tangible costs of crime estimated at $105 billion annually, plus intangible costs of an estimated $345 billion annually. Civil remedies compensate victims financially, empower victims to exercise their rights, and can have preventive effects as well. However, attorneys, victim service providers, and victims are often unaware of the relief available through civil lawsuits. Congress and State legislatures have enacted many laws to assist victims seeking civil remedies. Actions recommended as a result of this study include fully informing crime victims of their legal rights to pursue civil remedies and expanding State and local networks of civil attorneys with experience representing crime victims. Additional recommended actions include increased efforts to identify consultants with the expertise to testify on victimization, the development of a pamphlet about civil remedies for crime victims, training to victim service providers on civil remedies for crime victims, and extension of statutes of limitations for civil actions involving child abuse cases. Reference notes and form on which to order the complete report

Date Published: January 1, 1998