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What Steps Can Crime Victims Take To Seek Justice?

A crime victim may be wounded, may suffer loss of property or any other damages which could never be restored. The victim may be full of anger and would want to seek justice, but oftentimes, they may be clueless of the measures they can take to seek it.

Approach an Advocate

The very first thing the victim should do is to approach a victims’ advocate. They are trained professionals who work in a variety of settings to respond to the victims’ emotional, spiritual, mental, physical, social, and financial needs. They will provide with the necessary information, such as crime prevention, victims’ legal rights and protections, as well as victim services in community and criminal justice process.

Options for Justice

When it comes to providing justice, the law offers the following choices to victims:

Criminal Justice System

The victim may decide to report the crime. This is what follows:

  • The investigator may arrest the suspect if any evidence is found against them or issue a citation for them to appear in court.
  • The victim may be called in court as a witness to submit a victim impact statement. It describes how the crime affected them.
  • The judge will issue a sentence and may consider their statement in doing so. Sentences vary depending on the crime and the jurisdiction and can include jail sentencing, prison time, or probation.

Civil Justice System

The victim can also sue the perpetrator and any third party who bears some responsibility for the crime. The objective of a civil suit is to hold the defendants accountable for the crime along with those people who allowed it to happen in the first place.

What You Can Do – An attorney can be hired to take the case to court. However, before doing so, the attorney will review it to see if there is enough proof to take the case to court. Many attorneys take a civil case on a contingency fee basis, which means that they will get a percentage of any financial reward, if granted.

Protective Order

The crime victim may seek a protective order from court if they experienced any form of domestic violence, abuse or stalking. The court may order the abuser to stay away from the victim. Protective orders are issued in civil courts, but can be requested as part of a criminal process.

Getting a Protective Order – It is better to seek help from a victims’ advocate to file for a protective order. The advocate will fill out the paperwork, find out if they are eligible for it, and guide the victim through the process.

Who Is Eligible? In many states, it is given to people in certain types of relationships. These include marriage, shared parenthood or domestic partnerships.

Get Support

Along with these measures, use the following resources for help in the matter:

Get Victim Compensation – Every state has a victim compensation program to help victims get paid for costs related to their case. These include expenses that cover burial expenses, counseling, medical treatment, travel for a court case and other costs.

Shelter – Communities offer shelter to victims of domestic violence. They offer various services to victims including legal advocacy, support groups, and counseling.

Safety Planning – A victim advocate helps device a strategy to increase safety at home, office or other places.

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