California Victim Assistance Center

Find California victim assistance centers. Victim assistance centers provide information about crime and criminal victimization, domestic violence, NOVA, victims compensation funds and impact statements.


About Victim Assistance Centers

What is Victim Assistance?

Victim Assistance is an agency that provides a range of services to victims of crimes. The purpose of Victim Assistance is to help victims recover from the effects of the crime, to provide protection against future victimization, and to train other service providers that support victims. Victim Assistance agencies can be federal, state, or county government agencies. There are also numerous non-profit Victim Assistance organizations with similar missions.

Victim compensation programs provide financial assistance to victims and their families for expenses related to a crime that are not covered by insurance. Victim notification systems provide victims with alerts regarding the status of criminal court cases, parole and pardon requests by the perpetrator, registration in the sex offender registry, and other notifications to help victims protect themselves. Victim advocacy services are designed to help victims understand the criminal justice process, guide victims in exercising their rights, and assist victims in requesting compensation or restitution.

At the state and county level, Victim Assistance agencies can be organized as a division within the Department of Corrections, as an office within the Judicial branch, or as a component of the parole and probation system. At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Justice runs Victim Assistance programs through the Office of Justice Programs and the FBI.

The Office of Justice Programs operates the Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC). This agency administers a Crime Victims Fund, which supplements state funding programs for compensating and assisting crime victims. The OVC also runs a Training and Technical Assistance Center as a resource for service providers and victims' advocates. In addition, the FBI operates the Office of Victim Assistance. The Office of Victim Assistance ensures that victims of crimes investigated by the FBI have access to victim services and notification systems. This office also provides emergency services to victims of terrorism and their families.

Non-profit Victim Assistance organizations provide a range of similar advocacy and financial assistance programs for victims. They may also engage in advocacy for policies and laws that support victims of crime.