The rights of victims will be recognised on Victims' Day 2021.
The rights of South Australian victims of crime will be recognised tomorrow in the state’s first Victims’ Day, led by Victims of Crime SA.
The theme for the inaugural event is ‘Recognising Your Rights’ – something Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Bronwyn Killmier says is often missing when victims approach her office.
“So many victims of crime don’t know what they’re entitled to, and it’s important they realise they have rights that are legally protected by the Victims of Crime Act 2001,” she said.
“The focus for us is really to promote those rights so victims can be better informed and aware when something’s not working, or their rights are being breached.”
One of the most common complaints VOCSA receives is in relation to not being kept informed throughout the process.
“Most people who encounter the criminal justice system assume they’ll automatically be kept informed about certain things, but the current system unfortunately places the onus on victims to request this,” the Commissioner said.
“Victims don’t know they are entitled to certain information, but that they need to ask.
“We end up with a situation where they don’t know, so they don’t ask.”
In the lead up to Victims Day, VOCSA has launched several videos giving victims an insight into various parts of the criminal justice system and support services available.
“There are so many services across South Australia that work together to help victims of crime – everything from government agencies and large non-profit organisations to community-led groups that offer grassroots support,” she said.
“Our office acts as a coordination point for victims, so we’ve pulled together a number of these groups to talk about what they do and how they can provide support.
“Hearing directly from those experts can help victims feel more prepared for their experience.”
For more information, visit https://www.voc.sa.gov.au/victims-of-crime-day-2021