Modified: April 14, 2020 10:46am
In observance of National Crime Victims’ Week (April 8-14, 2018), Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced today that his office will continue to be a leading resource for victims of all crimes.
DA Flynn was joined by New York State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy (D), Dr. Roy DeFrancis (larceny victim), Roberta and David Anderson (victims of a hit-and-run driver) as well as staff of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Bureau.
The three crime victims shared their experiences with the court process and discussed the services they received through the DA’s Victim/Witness Bureau.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) aims to raise awareness about issues that affect victims and to remind the public about resources available to those who have been impacted by a crime. NCVRW seeks to expand opportunities for crime victims to share their experiences with others, to connect with services and to receive the necessary support as they move through the criminal justice process. Since 1981, the annual, week-long campaign has been sponsored by the National Center for Victims of Crime, Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Erie County District Attorney’s Office would like to remind the community of services available to all victims of crime through the Victim/Witness Bureau.
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office is a leading provider of support for crime victims, witnesses and their families. The Victim/Witness Bureau provides support for all victims from low level offenses to those who have been affected by more serious crimes such as homicides. Our advocates help victims navigate the legal system by explaining what will happen at each step of the prosecution.
The DA’s Victim/Witness Bureau assesses the needs of each victim and provides assistance accordingly. The District Attorney’s Office has specially trained staff to help victims of violent felony offenses, vehicular crimes, sexual assaults as well as child victims. Also, advocates provide support to help victims cope with a variety of emotions, concerns and questions they have as a result of the criminal court system.
Services may begin at the hospital or from the time a police report is filed. Services are also available to victims when no arrest has been made. In specific case, compensation may be available.
The DA’s Victim/Witness Bureau assisted nearly 3,000 victims in 2017. In addition, the BE-SAFE Domestic Violence Advocacy Program served more than 1,500 victims last year.
“In addition to prosecuting offenders, our office will continue to provide support those affected by crimes committed in Erie County. The Victim/Witness Bureau is a grant funded program provided by the District Attorney’s Office to provide support for individuals who have suffered trauma or loss associated with being the victim of a crime,” said District Attorney John J. Flynn. “I encourage anyone who has been a victim to contact my office to see what services may be available.”
“It is essential that crime victims have the resources and support they need to grieve and recover,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “District Attorney John Flynn has been a strong advocate for the people of Erie County, especially those who are most vulnerable. I’m proud to join him to raise awareness about Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and to continue to fight together for critical reforms on behalf of New York’s victims.
“Our office is committed to helping to helping victim of all crimes, especially the most vulnerable – the children in our community. I will continue to push for the passage of the criminal portion of the Child Victims Act,” said DA Flynn. “I applaud Senator Kennedy for his leadership on this issue.”
All of the victims’ services are free and confidential. For more information, call the District Attorney’s Victim/Witness Bureau at 716.858.4640 or visit http://www2.erie.gov/da/index.php?q=victimwitness-bureau. For assistance for domestic violence victims through the BE-SAFE Victim Advocacy Program, call 716-858-4630.