U.S. flag

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

What You Can Do If You Are a Victim of Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This online brochure was produced by the federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to inform crime victims about their rights as crime victims, how they can get help in dealing with needs stemming from their victimization, and what they can do to achieve positive change that improves the treatment of crime victims.
The following crime victim rights are listed: 1) the right to be notified of all court proceedings related to the offenses; 2) the right to be reasonably protected from the accused offenders; 3) the right to provide input at sentencing through a victim impact statement; 4) the right to information on the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender; 5) the right to an order of restitution from the convicted offender; and 6) the right to be notified of the aforementioned rights. In reviewing the type of help that is available to crime victims under state and federal law, the brochure focuses on two general types of services, I.e. compensation and assistance. Compensation programs reimburse victims for financial costs incurred by the victim due to the crime, including medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages or loss of support. Crime victim assistance programs provide a range of services that include crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, criminal justice advocacy, and emergency transportation. The brochure suggests that crime victims contribute to improvement in the treatment of crime victims in general by voicing that victims of crimes similar to that experienced by themselves receive justice, comprehensive assistance, and compassionate treatment under the law. Contact information is provided for national victim organizations.

Date Published: January 1, 2010