Victims of Crime: There Is Help!
With crime rates increasing all over, Advocates for Victims of Abuse would like to remind everyone about a state program that can financially assist survivors and secondary survivors of crime.
One concern many survivors have is the financial costs related to the crime. The impact of a violence crime can be devastating to the survivors and secondary survivors, and the financial costs to recover can be tremendous. It is hard enough to deal with the emotional, psychological, and physical trauma of being victimized, without having to deal with the financial aspects as well. The trauma of a crime will often result in someone needing medical assistance, such as emergency room visit, hospital stay or doctors visits. Many survivors or secondary survivors find it helpful to see a counselor to cope with the trauma, which can be an expense many cannot afford. If a person has suffered from physical or emotional trauma as a result of violent or personal crime, they may be eligible for financial assistance from the state of Nevada.
The State of Nevada Victims of Crime Program (VOCP) can greatly assist any victims and/or their families. Nevada Revised Statute 217.010 states: “It is the policy of the State to provide assistance to persons who are victims of violent crimes or the dependents of victims of violent crimes”. Those who are eligible to receive compensation from VOCP must be a victim of a violent crime in Nevada, which resulted in physical injury, a threat of physical injury or death. The family members of a deceased victim of crime are also eligible. The crime should be reported to law enforcement within five days, unless the victim is physically or mentally unable to have filed within the five days. A VOCP application should be submitted within a year of the crime, or a reasonable amount of time if they are unable to file within that year. VOCP can help victims of crimes such as drunk driving, homicide, sex crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, elderly abuse, as well as assault and battery. Any minors who are victims of sexual violence or pornography have until the age of 21 to file a claim with VOCP.
VOCP can cover medical expenses, counseling and therapy, loss of wages due to the crime, funeral expenses, and damages done to a vehicle or home in the commission of the crime, emergency shelter, relocation costs, medication, and more. VOCP will not pay for lost or stolen property, cash, property damage, pain and suffering, or expenses that can be covered by insurance. VOCP will pay up to $35,000 to those who have been victimized by violent crime.
Many local agencies and organizations in Humboldt County and around the state are able to assist victims and families to complete an application for VOCP. However, any one can go onto the State of Nevada VOCP program themselves and read about the program, as well as print out an application and file it themselves. The website is: http://www.voc.NV.gov.
If someone has been the victim of a crime in another state, we encourage them to seek out that states Victim of Crime program. The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards provides information on crime victim’s compensation boards across the United States which can be found at http://www.nacvcb.org or the Office for Victims of Crime at www.ojp.usdoj.gov
For further information on referrals and resources that can benefit survivors and secondary survivors of crime and personal victimization, please contact AVA.
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