If you have been the victim of a violent crime, you may be able to make an application for assistance from the Victims of Crime assistance Tribunal (VOCAT).
The role of the Tribunal is to assist victims of crime in their recovery by paying for expenses that have been incurred as a direct result of a violent crime. The Tribunal does not provide compensation; however, the Tribunal can provide financial assistance to victims of crime where compensation cannot be obtained from the offender or other sources.
VOCAT provides financial assistance for a range of expenses that include:
- Counselling and medical expenses.
- Safety related expenses.
- Loss or damage to clothing worn at the time of the incident.
- Loss of earnings.
- Distress or dependency payments caused by the death of a primary victim.
- Assistance for reasonable funeral expenses.
In exceptional circumstances the Tribunal may be able to make an award for other expenses that you have, or are likely, to incur as a direct result of the violent crime.
You can make an application for assistance from VOCAT if you are injured as a direct result of a violent crime committed against you, if you were trying to prevent the commission of a violent crime, or if you are trying to aid or rescue someone that you believe is the victim of a violent crime.
An injury can be either a physical or psychological injury, or both.
Assistance may be available if you were present at the scene of a violent crime and injured as a direct result of witnessing that crime. Assistance may also be available if you are injured as a direct result of subsequently becoming aware of an act of violence, and you are the parent or guardian of the primary victim who is under the age of 18.
Further assistance is available to dependants and close family members of a deceased victim.
If you are not a close family member of the deceased, but have incurred funeral expenses as a direct result of the death of a primary victim, you may also make an application for assistance.
Our lawyers often work alongside victim support workers through programs such as Merri Health’s Victim Assistance Program to guide our clients through what is often a very stressful time.
When you telephone our office to make an appointment we will ask you the name of the alleged offender, the date of the crime, and the place of the crime. It may be useful to find this information before telephoning to book an appointment.
We will also require a copy of your police statement, if you have a copy, or alternatively the police officer’s name and the police station you reported the crime. This enables the Tribunal to contact the police officer and request further information about the report and the status of the investigation. It is useful to bring this information with you to your initial appointment with one of our lawyers.
If you would like further information in relation to making a claim for assistance from VOCAT, please do not hesitate to contact any of our three offices.
For Family Law advice, contact Morrison & Sawers Lawyers:
Via our website www.morsaw.com.au
Telephone our offices
Echuca, 03 5482 2222
Shepparton, 03 5831 8885
Kyabram, 03 5852 2555