Victims of crime are people who have suffered harm or financial loss because of a crime. Family members or witnesses can also be victims of crime when they suffer emotional distress.
South Australia recognises the rights of victims under the law. The Victims of Crime Act 2001 lays down principles to govern how victims of crime are treated, including a requirement that victims are treated with respect and compassion.
Government officials and agencies are required to comply with these principles, which are more commonly referred to as victims’ rights.
You can find out more about victims’ rights at the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights website.
The Commissioner for Victims’ Rights assists victims dealing with the criminal justice system and government agencies. The commissioner can provide information, advice and support to people who are harmed and their families and friends to deal with the physical, emotional and financial impact of crime.
The impact of crime can vary significantly. For some the impact of crime is short and intense, for others the impact is long-lasting. Regardless, many victims find the criminal justice system complex, confusing and intimidating. Many do not know where to turn for help.
The commissioner can also participate in certain criminal proceedings and consult on crime victims’ grievances.
The government is giving former residents in state care who experienced sexual abuse as children the opportunity, as an alternative to legal action, to apply for some money to acknowledge their pain and suffering and to help their recovery.