Victim Support ACT allows ACT Magistrates to compensate victims of crime for their pain and suffering. The following is an example of awards made last financial year under the victims of crime financial assistance scheme:
$50,000 in compensation was awarded to 5 sexual assault victims, the maximum payable under territory law.
A glassing victim received $30,700 after suffering vision loss.
A female assault victim was awarded almost $8,000 after sustaining a broken nose and fractured teeth.
17 police officers were also awarded crime compensation after being injured in the line of duty.
There was also an increase in violent crimes over this period with Victims of Crime Commissioner, John Hinchey, indicating that this has resulted in delays in processing files.
A critical ACT Ombudsman’s report into the crime compensation system found that the $650.00 cap on legal representation costs for victims created an imbalance and that the court-based system could be daunting for applicants who have no legal representation.
For victims of crime support and advice call 1800 000 055 or go to www.victimsofcrime.com.au