In recognition of Crime Victims Week, April 13-19, the Assembly passed a number of measures today co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey to help crime victims and their families.
“Crime Victims Week provides an important opportunity to focus on the needs of families who are living through the shock and painful aftermath of a crime,” said Assemblywoman Markey. “Our package of legislation takes the necessary steps to provide assistance to victims and their families through financial compensation, counseling programs and victim advocacy.”
Stronger advocacy and assistance for victims
“Crime victims have experienced trauma and pain, and need to undergo an extensive healing process both mentally and physically,” Assemblymember Markey said. “This package includes several bills aimed at making it much easier for crime victims to get the help they need and deserve.”
These bills would:
- require all Crime Victims Board members to participate in a crime victim assistance education program (A.846);
- streamline the CVB’s reporting requirements to reduce red tape (A.1110); and
- ensure that an elder law attorney serves on the CVB (A.6204).
Another measure to assist victims of crimes would require a minimum of 15 hours of training for police officers and prosecutors in the handling of sexual assault cases (A.2419).
Easing financial hardships
“Crime victims are often saddled with expenses beyond their control that force them to make tough decisions regarding their jobs, paying their bills or caring for their children,” Assemblywoman Markey said. “This legislation will help victims recover from these dire circumstances by providing the compensation necessary to get back on their feet.”
The Assembly’s legislation will expand benefits to crime victims by:
- enabling parents and guardians who experience loss of earnings due to the hospitalization of a child victim to be eligible for a crime victims award (A.2656);
- enabling crime victims to be reimbursed for transportation costs for necessary court appearances (A.6675); and
- granting courts the discretion to designate that part, or all, of any fine paid by an adjudicated violator of the state’s Antitrust Law be paid to the CVB, putting more money into the programs that help victims recover (A.931).
“It’s important that we help crime victims recover, put their ordeals behind them and move on with their lives as smoothly as possible,” said Assemblywoman Markey.