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  3. 10. General
  4. 10.20 Victims of crime and the role of Victim Assist Queensland
  5. Key steps
  6. 1. Respond to victims of crime

1. Respond to victims of crime

Under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 victims are those who have suffered harm due to acts of violence (for example, physical and sexual offences) that occur in Queensland and result in a physical, psychological or emotional injury. This definition also includes victims who have suffered harm due to:

  • domestic and family violence being committed against them
  • being a family member or dependent of the person who has had domestic and family violence committed against them
  • a person who has been harmed as a direct result of intervening in domestic and family violence.

Under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009, Child Safety staff are responsible for:

  • upholding the Charter of Victims’ Rights when working with victims of crime
  • proactively providing victims of crime with information about services and financial assistance they may be eligible to receive from the Queensland Government through Victim Assist Queensland
  • facilitating an application on behalf of a child identified as a victim of crime who is subject to an interim or final child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive.

Responsibilities under the Charter of Victims’ Rights

The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 includes a Charter of Victims’ Rights which informs victims of crime about what they can expect from government departments and non-government agencies that support victims. The Charter of Victims’ Rights requires Child Safety staff to:

  • treat victims with courtesy, compassion, respect and dignity
  • maintain confidentiality of a victim’s personal information including address and telephone numbers, unless disclosure is authorised by law, and
  • inform victims at the earliest practicable opportunity about available services and remedies.

In addition, victims are to be informed of their right to make a complaint if they feel that a Queensland Government or non-government agency has behaved in a way contrary to the Charter. 

Victim Assist Queensland

Victim Assist Queensland provides information and advice for victims of crime, including reporting an incident, assisting with access to available support services and leading and coordinating the victims’ services sector within Queensland.

The Queensland Government provides financial assistance through Victim Assist Queensland to victims of acts of violence. This assistance is to pay for, or reimburse the costs of, goods and services victims may need to recover from physical or psychological injuries as a result of a violent crime committed in Queensland.

Under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009, eligible victims can seek a range of support and assistance, depending on the victim’s individual circumstances, through Victim Assist Queensland, including:

  • financial assistance to cover (or reimburse) the cost of counselling, medical and dental expenses, reasonable incidental travel expenses, safety and security expenses, loss of earnings and funeral expenses
  • non-financial assistance, including referral to support services for victims of domestic and family violence, victims of sexual assault, victims who are under 18 years of age, victims of mentally ill offenders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of crime, relatives of homicide victims; and court support and legal support for victims of crime
  • a special financial assistance payment for primary victims, between $1,000 and $10,000, in acknowledgement of the act of violence committed against them. Victim Assist will arrange for this payment to be held in trust by the Public Trustee of Queensland until the victim is 18 years old
  • a dependency payment of up to $20,000, and a recognition payment of up to $10,000 for a related victim (family member of a primary victim that has died as a result of an act of violence).

For further information about supports available and categories of victims and their eligibility for different types of assistance refer to www.qld.gov.au/victims.