Violent Crime Victims
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THE IMPACT OF CRIME
All victims and witnesses are emotionally affected by a crime. You have been involved in a critical event. For some people, this experience can cause unusually strong emotional reactions. Others may report almost no reaction. And still others may report a variety of physical, emotional and social responses. These may appear a few hours or a few days after the incident and in some cases, weeks or months later. You may find yourself faced with feelings unlike those you have previously experienced. These feelings may come and go and vary in intensity. Their duration will depend largely on the severity of the critical event and it's significance to you. It is important that you realize that these are normal reactions to an abnormal event.
The following are possible reactions that you may experience after a traumatic incident has occurred.
Physical symptoms that you may experience:
Changes in appetite
Fatigue/loss of energy
Emotional reactions you may experience:
Inability to concentrate or memory lapses
Avoidance of situations that are reminders of the incident
Emotional exhaustion/withdrawal from family and friends
Moodiness and irritability
Re-experiencing the incident repeatedly in your mind
Difficulty in solving problems or making decision/feeling overwhelmed
Increased concern for personal safety and the safety of family members.
All of these reactions are normal, and may decrease with time. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to react or feel as a victim. Many others who have been victimized feel the same things as you do now. You are not alone and you are not crazy! If you are in need of support or assistance in dealing with your reaction to the crime, please contact the Victim-Witness Program so that we may assist you in your recovery.
WASHINGTON STATE CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION PROGRAM
If you are a victim of a violent crime, and you suffered physical or psychological injury, you may be eligible for assistance through the Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP). Overcoming the physical injuries and emotional pain of a violent crime takes time - and it is harder to do when you face financial worries as well. The Crime Victims Compensation Program helps victims with costs related to crime injuries.
Who can get help?
- Victims injured in a violent crime in Washington State.
- Survivors of a homicide victim.
- Washington residents injured by an act of terrorism in a foreign country.
Am I eligible?
Benefits cannot be paid to someone:
- Injured while participating in a felony.
- Injured while confined in jail, prison or institutionalized.
- Who incited, provoked or consented to the crime.
- Who is unwilling to provide reasonable cooperation to law enforcement.
What benefits are available?
- Payment of medical, dental and mental health counseling bills.
- Partial payment of lost wages.
- Partial payment of funeral costs.
- Modification to homes and vehicles to accommodate permanent injuries.
- Limited pension payment if the crime prevents you from returning to work permanently.
- Limited pension payment to the spouse or child of a deceased victim.
- Counseling for family members of sexual assault victims and homicide victims.
All benefits listed have maximum dollar limits set by law. Property losses are not covered.
What are the requirements of the program?
- Notify law enforcement of the crime within one year or within one year of when a report could have reasonably been made.
- CVCP must receive the application:
- Within two years of reporting the crime to law enforcement
- Within two years of your eighteenth birthday if you were a minor at the time of the crime.
- Within five years from reporting the crime to law enforcement with good cause.
- You need to use benefits available from all other public and private insurance first.
- You need to reimburse CVCP if you receive an insurance settlement or proceeds from a lawsuit based on the crime.
How do I apply?
Contact CVCP directly at (800) 762-3716 for an application, visit the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries website or contact the U.S. Attorney's Office Victim-Witness Program for assistance.
Does the U.S. Attorney's Office offer any services to assist victims?
Yes, there are many services provided by our office to assist you if you are a victim of a crime