Victims of crime can recover compensation from a tribunal. The amounts are limited to maximums set out in the legislation; the victim’s own criminal history and access to other compensation are taken into account. There are services for primary, secondary and related victims of crime, including a helpline and a referral service, counselling, and a network of assistance programs that respond to a crisis in person and by telephone. There must be an act of violence causing injury, reported in reasonable time. This chapter also outlines the claims procedure.

Contributor

Thracy Vinga

Barrister

Assistance for victims of crime

Last updated

1 July 2020

Victims of Crime Helpline

The Victims of Crime Helpline is staffed by trained Victim Support Officers who provide free information and support to help victims manage the effects of crime and navigate their way through the legal process. People who have been affected by crime can call or text the helpline to:

  • get advice about reporting a crime;
  • find services that help victims of crime (including counselling);
  • get information about their legal rights;
  • get information about how courts work;
  • get help applying for compensation and financial assistance.

Also, the Victims of Crime Helpline can organise a free support worker, who can help victims with:

  • day-to-day needs;
  • emergency home security;
  • managing their personal safety;
  • communicating with police and making a report;
  • organising counselling, transport and medical services;
  • getting ready for court;
  • preparing a Victim Impact Statement;
  • getting information about the offender.

The Victims of Crime Helpline provides a free interpreter service.

Victims of Crime Helpline
Tel: 1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891 (8 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week)
Email: vsa@justice.vic.gov.au
Web: www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au

Counselling for victims of crime

Victims of crime may access free short-term counselling to assist them recover from the effects of the crime. To be eligible to receive this counselling, victims must be either:

  • primary victims of a violent crime (and related victims in homicide cases) that occurred and was reported within the past 12 months. The crime must have occurred in Victoria; or
  • victims of domestic violence who have been granted an intervention order within the past 12 months.

Up to five sessions of counselling can be provided free to eligible victims of crime. If counselling is required beyond the fifth session, an application can be made to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal to provide financial assistance for further counselling (see ‘Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal’, below). The Victims of Crime Helpline can assist people with VOCAT applications.

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