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Improving victim support

Improving victim support

By VLRC


The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic) and the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) provide one of the key mechanisms by which victims of crime are able to access financial assistance to help them with their recovery. The Act’s objectives are to assist victims of crime by paying for expenses incurred as a result of the crime (such as medical bills, counselling, and loss of earnings), and as a symbolic expression by the state of the community’s sympathy and condolence. The VLRC began a review in early 2017, focusing on how effectively the Act and VOCAT assist victims of family violence, and in June 2017 the VLRC released a consultation paper “Family Violence and the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996”. On 7 July 2017, the scope of the review was extended, with the VLRC receiving supplementary terms of reference from the Attorney-General. These supplementary terms of reference ask the VLRC to consider the operation and effectiveness of the Act for all victims of crime, not solely victims of family violence. The VLRC has been asked to make recommendations by 27 July 2018, in a single report incorporating both the original and the supplementary terms of reference. Accordingly, the VLRC has published a supplementary consultation paper (available at lawreform.vic.gov.au) addressing a number of key issues. These include:

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