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The Victims Rights and Support Act 2013 defines a victim of crime as a person who suffers harm as a direct result of an act committed, or apparently committed, by another person in the course of a crime. This includes physical and psychological harm, as well as loss or damage to property. Family members of a person who dies as a result of a crime are also considered victims of crime.
The NSW Charter of Victim’s Rights outlines how you should be treated and assisted if you're a victim of crime.
The Charter applies to all NSW Government departments. It also applies to any non-government agencies (NGOs) and contractors that are funded by the NSW Government to provide services or support to victims.
A victim will be treated with courtesy, compassion, cultural sensitivity and respect for the victim's rights and dignity.
A victim will be informed at the earliest practical opportunity, by relevant agencies and officials, of the services and remedies available to the victim.
A victim will have access, where necessary, to available welfare, health, counselling and legal assistance responsive to the victim's needs.
A victim will, on request, be informed of the progress of the investigation of the crime, unless the disclosure might jeopardise the investigation. In that case, the victim will be informed accordingly.
A victim will be informed in a timely manner of the following:
(a) the charges laid against the accused or the reasons for not laying charges;
(b) any decision of the prosecution to modify or not to proceed with charges laid against the accused, including any decision to accept a plea of guilty by the accused to a less serious charge in return for a full discharge with respect to the other charges;
(c) the date and place of hearing of any charge laid against the accused; and
(d) the outcome of the criminal proceedings against the accused (including proceedings on appeal) and the sentence (if any) imposed.
A victim should be consulted before a decision referred to in paragraph (b) above is taken if the accused has been charged with a serious crime that involves sexual violence or that results in actual bodily harm or psychological or psychiatric harm to the victim, unless:
A victim who is a witness in the trial for the crime will be informed about the trial process and the role of the victim as a witness in the prosecution of the accused.
A victim will be protected from unnecessary contact with the accused and defence witnesses during the course of court proceedings.
A victim's residential address and telephone number will not be disclosed unless a court otherwise directs.
A victim will be relieved from appearing at preliminary hearings or committal hearings unless the court otherwise directs.
If any property of a victim is held by the State for the purpose of investigation or evidence, the inconvenience to the victim will be minimised and the property returned promptly.
A victim's need or perceived need for protection should be put before a bail authority by the prosecutor in any bail application by the accused.
A victim will be informed about any special bail conditions imposed on the accused that are designed to protect the victim or the victim's family.
A victim will be informed of the outcome of a bail application if the accused has been charged with sexual assault or other serious personal violence.
A relevant victim will have access to information and assistance for the preparation of any victim impact statement authorised by law to ensure that the full effect of the crime on the victim is placed before the court.
A victim will, on request, be kept informed of the offender's impending release or escape from custody, or of any change in security classification that results in the offender being eligible for unescorted absence from custody.
A victim will, on request, be provided with the opportunity to make submissions concerning the granting of parole to a serious offender or any change in security classification that would result in a serious offender being eligible for unescorted absence from custody.
A victim of a crime involving sexual or other serious personal violence is entitled to make a claim under a statutory scheme for victims' compensation.
A victim may make a complaint about a breach of the Charter and will, on request, be provided with information on the procedure for making such a complaint.
31 Aug 2022