The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 created the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT), which provides state-funded assistance to victims of violent crimes.
The Victims of Crime Assistance Act and the The Victims of Crime Commissioner Act 2015 share a definition of ‘victim of crime’. Under both acts, there are three types of victims:
A primary victim is a person who is injured or dies as a direct result of:
- a violent crime committed against them
- trying to arrest someone that has committed a violent crime
- trying to prevent the commission of a violent crime
- trying to aid or rescue someone they believe is the victim of a violent crime.
A secondary victim is a person who is injured as a direct result of:
- being present at the scene of a violent crime and witnessing that crime
- subsequently becoming aware of a violent crime where they are the parent/guardian of the primary victim who was under the age of 18 at the time the criminal act was committed.
A related victim is a person who, at the time of the violent crime:
- was a close family member of a deceased primary victim
- was a dependent of the deceased primary victim
- had an intimate personal relationship with a deceased primary victim.
A close family member is a person who had a genuine personal relationship with a deceased victim, including:
- a spouse of the victim
- parent, guardian or step-parent of the victim
- a child, step-child of the victim or some other child of whom the victim is the guardian
- a sibling, or step-sibling of the victim.
Download a PDF version of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act from the Victorian Law Today Library .