OVS provides substantial financial relief to eligible crime victims and their families. The agency pays medical and dental bills; counseling costs; funeral and burial expenses; crime scene clean-up cost; lost wages and support, among other assistance. New York is the only state in the country with no limit on reimbursement for medical bills or counseling, which means individuals receive help for as long as they need it.
To further the rights, interests and support of crime victims, OVS funds a network of victim assistance programs providing direct services, such as counseling, legal help, emergency shelter for domestic violence victims, across the state. Crime victim advocates meet men, women and children in crisis, help them navigate the criminal justice process and work to ensure their rights are protected and their voices heard.
OVS facilitates communication and coordination with other federal, state, and local governmental agencies and victim advocacy organizations. The agency also supports victim service professionals, providing training and resources that allows them to enhance their skills and resources that emphasize the importance of caring for themselves. While advocacy work is extremely rewarding, it also can be stressful and challenging.