What support is available to victims of crime?
Victim support is an organisation which offers information and support to people who have been hurt by crime or a traumatic experience. Volunteers across the country offer their services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can advise you on:
They can also liaise with the Police on your behalf, and help arrange transport and accommodation for your court hearings.
You can call Victim Support on 0800 VICTIM (0800 842 846), send them an email, or write to them at PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140.
Other services include:
- Victims of Crime Information Line (0800 650 654), available 24 hours, seven days
- Family Violence Information – (0800 456 450) for information about services available to you, 7 days, 9am-11pm.
If you’re going to court as the victim of a crime, a Victim Adviser can explain the court process to you and support you during the process. Not to be confused with Victim Support, Victim Advisers are specialist staff employed by the Court to provide confidential support and information. They will normally get in touch with you after the offender’s first appearance in court.
You might also be interested in telephone counselling (e.g. from Lifeline, Youthline) – you’ll find information about these services on our Depression page.
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to help you find victim support services near you.
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Are there support services specifically for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault?
As well as Victim support and the court’s Victim Adviser, there are specialist support services for victims of domestic or sexual violence. These include:
- Shine (0508 744 633) has a helpline available 7 days, 9am – 11pm. There is also information on their website. These services are available to anyone experiencing abuse. There is a safe house in Auckland for women and their children.
- Womens Refuge (0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843) – they provide women with confidential information, advice, support and emergency accommodation.
- Rape Crisis centres (0800 88 33 00) provide support to women survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Support includes counselling, advocacy and information.
You may find other agencies in the Personal Emergencies section of your phone book.
More information for people in violent domestic situations is on our Violence & Abuse pages. If the case will be going to the Family Violence Court you will find the information on the Family Justice site useful.
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Are victims of crime eligible for reparations or financial assistance?
Depending on the circumstances, a victim of crime may be eligible for financial assistance from ACC and/or the Ministry of Justice, or receive reparations from the offender.
Financial assistance from ACC
If you are physically injured as a result of the crime, ACC may cover your medical treatment and may pay you compensation for lost income if you are unable to work due to your injuries.
ACC will also provide cover for mental trauma resulting from sexual assault or abuse. To receive this assistance, ask your doctor or an ACC-registered counsellor to help you complete an ACC claim form and send it to ACC.
If you need more information about making a ‘sensitive claim’ you can call the Sensitive Claims line (0800 735 566) which is available Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.
ACC also provides a funeral grant for families of homicide victims.
Financial assistance from Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice can give financial assistance to victims of serious crimes. This is administered by Victim Support and includes:
- funded counselling (for families of homicide victims)
- help with the costs of court attendance (for victims of sexual violence and families of victims of homicide)
- a Crime Scene Grant, available to victims whose home or car is unavailable because it is a crime scene, needs professional cleaning or has been cordoned off by the Police.
Some types of assistance are means-tested. More about financial assistance for victims of serious crime, including sexual violence or family violence, is on the Victims Information website.
The Court may order the offender to give you money to compensate you for emotional harm or damage to your property. This is called a reparation order. The Court receives the money from the offender and pays it to you.
The amount of the reparation payment depends on factors such as whether the offender is paying reparation to other people as well, and the offender’s ability to pay.
More information about reparation is on the Ministry of Justice website.