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National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

April 17, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, April 19 through Saturday, April 25, 2020

New York State annually marks National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: a time to promote victims’ rights, honor crime victims and recognize the professionals who provide direct services to victims and their families.

The Office of Victim Services has provided help, healing and hope to victims of crime and their families since 1966. The agency currently provides nearly $112 million to 212 programs that provide direct support and services to victims and their families: advocacy, crisis and long-term counseling, legal services and emergency shelter, among other assistance.

To highlight the work of those programs and raise awareness of OVS during National Crime Victims’ Week and beyond, the agency will launch a short video series, “Five questions for …” that will be shared on social media:

  • @NYSPublicSafety on Twitter

The Office of Victim Services provides a critical safety net for individuals and/or their family members, helping those who are eligible with medical and counseling expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and support, in addition to 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.

Last year, the agency provided nearly $21 million in financial assistance, at no cost to taxpayers. Funding for crime victims’ compensation is generated by fines, fees and surcharges paid by certain offenders convicted in state or federal court.

A snapshot of OVS assistance by the numbers (2019)

  • The youngest and oldest person to receive assistance: 22 weeks old and 99 years old
  • $180,035 awarded on 649 decisions benefiting children under 18
  • $409,171 awarded on 1,332 decisions benefiting adults older than 60
  • $906,787 for emergency assistance, helping victims and their families with costs incurred in the immediate aftermath of a crime
  • $1.5 million for funeral and burial costs
  • $4.2 million in reimbursement to hospitals for 5,473 forensic rape exams, which ensured that victims of sexual assault did not receive a bill

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: Seeking Justice, Ensuring Victims’ Rights, Inspiring Hope

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