Civil claim for damages
If a person who has experienced family violence has suffered substantial injury (usually serious physical injury), it is possible to institute civil proceedings for A court order for money to be paid to someone to compensate them for a loss suffered as a result of a civil wrong or breach of contract. For example, a person who caused a serious permanent injury to another person can be ordered by the court to pay damages that compensate the injured person for their loss of income from being unable to work. See also aggravated damages; compensatory damages; general damages; liquidated damages; nominal damages; special damages. against the A person who commits a crime. See also offender. in the state courts. However, this is a costly, lengthy and risky process that requires expert legal advice. Also, time limits apply for initiating civil proceedings.
Compensation through VOCAT
The most accessible source of monetary compensation is from the Victims of Crime Assistance A body set up to hear and decide disputes, usually with less formality and less strict rules of evidence than in a court proceeding. (VOCAT), which operates in the Magistrates’ An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. under the Victims of Crime Assistance A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 1996 (Vic). (See VOCAT in ‘Contacts’, below.)
VOCAT provides financial assistance to those who have experienced violent crime committed in Victoria. VOCAT compensates people for expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime (e.g. medical, safety related and funeral expenses, and lost earnings).
There are different prescribed categories of ‘victim’ and different types of benefits and entitlements that can be claimed. For example, a person who has experienced family violence can seek compensation for expenses, and also special financial assistance for pain and suffering. This is a complicated area, and it is important to obtain legal advice. (See Chapter 10.6: Assistance for victims of crime.)
Compensation under the Sentencing Act
Under section 85B of the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic), it is possible to obtain an order for compensation against the perpetrator in a state court if they are convicted of a criminal A criminal act prohibited by state or commonwealth criminal law. An offence is either a summary offence (minor) or an indictable offence (serious).. You should seek legal advice about this course of action.