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Victims Rights – Understanding the Victims’ Charter

The Victims Charter is legislation that was introduced by the Victorian Government in 2006 and details victim rights and entitlements.

The Victims' Charter aims to:

  • Recognise the negative impact that crime has on victims and their families, witnesses, and the broader community.

  • Treat all persons affected by crime with respect, whether or not they report the offence, and provide them with information to access appropriate services to aid in their recovery.

  • Recognise that victims have a legitimate interest in the response of the criminal justice system to the crime, and that they play a role as participants (but not parties) in criminal proceedings.

  • Prevent further harm to victims from the criminal justice system.

The Victims' Charter contains 17 principles that require agencies to:

  • Treat victims with courtesy, respect and dignity.
  • Have regard to victims who experience specific barriers to the justice system.
  • Provide information about services, entitlements and assistance.
  • Communicate with and respond to victims in a way that recognises their preferences and needs.
  • Protect victims’ personal information.
  • Respond to complaints from victims who believe an agency has breached the Victims’ Charter.

Prosecuting and investigatory agencies have additional obligations to provide information and consult with victims.

The Victims’ Charter also requires all agencies to have a complaints system, so people affected by crime can raise concerns if the principles have not been met.

Download a copy of the Victims’ Charter Act 2006.

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