Indiana launches new effort to attach crime victims to assist and companies

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) has launched a new initiative to connect victims of violent crime to support and service. connects Indiana crime victims and survivors to resources on a variety of topics ranging from domestic violence and sexual assault to human trafficking, with more to be added over time. The website also has information about programs that provide direct assistance to victims, such as the Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Program and the state’s sexual assault tracking system, ICJI said.

“Crime victims and their families can find it difficult to know who to contact,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI executive director. “You may be in physical and emotional pain, have financial difficulties, or want legal action. Although everyone’s path to recovery is different, this effort is about helping survivors on their way and letting them know that help is available. “

One of the goals of the new effort is to raise awareness of the Victims Compensation Program, which reimburses victims (or their loved ones) who have suffered physical harm for certain costs incurred as a result of violent crimes. ICJI said these costs could include medical bills, lost wages or child benefits, and funeral expenses.

Subject to certain eligibility requirements, applicants can be reimbursed up to $ 15,000, according to the ICJI. An additional $ 5,000 can be used to cover funeral and funeral expenses.

“Last year we handled more than 3,000 violent and sexual assault lawsuits and distributed more than $ 7.5 million nationwide,” said Nolan Jenkins, ICJI Victim Compensation Program Director. “Unfortunately there are still people in Indiana who don’t know the program exists, and we’re working on that.”

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, 1.2 million people were victims of violent crime (excluding simple assault) in 2019. It is difficult to determine the true number of crime victims in the state and nation as many incidents go unreported each year.

“Violent crime affects far too many families each year,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Division Director. “While no one should experience this, access to reliable resources is crucial, especially in times of crisis. Our goal is to make it easier for these people to find the support they need. “

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