September 26, 2016 - 11:30am
Survivors of crime and family members of crime victims describe how assistance from the Office of Victim Services helped them rebuild their lives.
New York State has a long-standing commitment to assisting crime victims and their families and advocating for their rights. The Office of Victim Services began as the Crime Victims Compensation Board in 1966, created after the murder of a young man left his widow unable to care for their baby daughter.
In the five decades since, the agency has provided a critical safety net, assisting hundreds of thousands of crime victims and their families who had no place else to turn for help.
The Office of Victim Services can pay funeral and burial expenses; emergency shelter for domestic violence victims; lost wages and support; relocation expenses for stalking victims and others to help ensure their safety; payment to help replace essential personal property items, such as clothing or eyeglasses; and much more. New York is the only state in the nation with no limit on reimbursement for medical bills or counseling, which means eligible individuals can receive help as long as they need it.
Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said, “Our support reaches more crime victims every year, but we know there are still some who are unaware of help that is available through the agency. Our hope is that these powerful stories will both inform and empower individuals to seek out the assistance from OVS or one of the many service providers we fund.”