After experiencing violent crime, many victims do not know what steps to take in order to guarantee their safety in the future. Being the victim of a crime makes you feel helpless, afraid and anxiety-ridden. It’s not uncommon for victims to avoid pressing charges and pursuing justice for themselves for fear of being targeted again. To help you move forward with your life in the safe, secure manner you deserve, here are three resources to help crime victims recover.
Restraining orders, also called protective orders or an injunction, can be filed against an individual to prevent him or her from contacting you or coming near you. If you are being stalked or have been the victim of domestic abuse, a restraining order can establish legal boundaries that prevent your stalker or abuser from being able to contact you or be near your residence or place of employment. If someone violates a restraining order, he or she will be arrested. To file a restraining order, you can apply at the nearest courthouse. A lawyer may also be able to help you. You can also contact your local police station for more information on the filing process.
Record searches can help victims keep track of inmates and make it easier to plan for when they are eventually released. Even if a restraining order is in place, it’s important to know when an attacker may be out of jail and on the street again. Using records searches can give you greater peace of mind by allowing you to plan your actions ahead of time. For example, you may want to change your phone number or ensure that your address is not easily found online. Profiles can let you know what jail the person you’re researching is staying at and even provide their inmate number. You can also let your family and friends know about the upcoming release date to ensure that they do not get caught off-guard and reveal any personal information if the person contacts them.
All states have a victim compensation program that offers coverage for medical bills, legal fees, counseling, burial fees and many other expenses victims face following a crime. You will have to apply as soon as possible to ensure that you meet your state’s victim compensation deadline. Victim compensation can be requested after many different types of crimes including, kidnapping, domestic abuse, sexual assault, robbery, battery and more.
In addition to working with a lawyer, consider reaching out to a counselor or joining a support group as well. After what you’ve been through, receiving support and guidance from professionals can help you begin to heal and move forward with your life.