Our 2020-21 Annual Report has been published.
More South Australian victims than ever sought much needed assistance through Victims of Crime SA throughout the last financial year.
In their 2020-21 Annual Report, VOCSA reported a 54% increase in the number of enquiries from victims over the last financial year.
“The past 12 months have seen a marked increase in the number of enquiries our office receives, with nearly 2,700 requests for information or assistance compared with only 1,537 the year before,” Commissioner for Victims’ Rights, Bronwyn Killmier said.
“It’s been a big year - throughout 2019-20, the highest number of enquiries in a month was 164 in February 2020. In March of this year, our enquiries peaked at 295, and that number only continues to rise.
“These enquiries include questions about compensation, discretionary funding and requests for advocacy, counselling or information.
“We’ve also seen a real increase in the complexity associated with these enquiries as well.”
These numbers don’t include other significant work the office undertakes either.
“This financial year we made 900 contacts to affected co-victims involved in submissions to the Parole Board - nearly 300 more than the year before,” Ms Killmier said.
“Requests for advocacy have also increased by nearly 100 - this can be a much-needed support for victims who are trying to navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system.
“Particularly for victims of past trauma, we’ve advocated on their behalf for access to historical files and provided them with the support they need to process this information.”
The Commissioner said that while the year had been a challenging one, the increased demand demonstrates that victims are becoming more aware of their legal rights in South Australia.
“Current legislation only requires agencies to provide information if they are asked, it’s critical that victims know what they are entitled to and to ask for it.
“These rising numbers show that more victims are becoming aware of their rights and, quite rightly, asking questions and challenging things.”
The 2020-21 annual report is available to view and download on our website.