Objectives of the Victims’ Charter 

The objectives of the Victims’ Charter are to:

  • recognise the impact of crime on the victims of that crime, including the impact on members of victims' families, witnesses to the crime and in some cases, the broader community
  • recognise that all persons adversely affected by crime, regardless of whether they report the offence, should be treated with respect by all investigatory agencies, prosecuting agencies and victims' services agencies and should be offered information to enable them to access appropriate services to help with the recovery process
  • recognise that a victim of crime has an inherent interest in the response by the criminal justice system to that crime, giving rise to the rights and entitlements set out in the Victims’ Charter, and to acknowledge the victim's role as a participant, but not a party, in proceedings for criminal offences
  • help reduce the likelihood of secondary victimisation by the criminal justice system.

Summary of Victims’ Charter principles


All people affected by crime are to be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity and are to have their particular needs or differences taken into account
Agencies are to provide clear, timely and consistent information about relevant support services, possible entitlements and legal assistance available to victims of crime
Agencies are to respect the rights and entitlements of victims as participants in proceedings for criminal offences and consider the needs of those living in rural and regional areas
Agencies are to be responsive to how victims prefer to be communicated with
Investigatory agencies are to inform victims about the progress of an investigation into a criminal offence unless this may jeopardise the investigation
Prosecuting agencies are to provide information to victims about the offences charged against the accused person, including any decision to substantially modify the offences charged against the accused person, discontinue the charges or accept a plea of guilty to a lesser charge
The Office of Public Prosecutions is to provide details to victims about specific court hearings and the progress of prosecutions, and to consult with victims on certain decisions relating
to the prosecution
Victims can request prosecuting agencies inform them of the outcomes of bail applications and any bail conditions intended to protect them
Prosecuting agencies are to provide information to victims about the court process, being a witness, the availability of any special protections or alternative arrangements for giving evidence, and the right to attend court proceedings, unless the court orders otherwise
Prosecuting agencies and the courts should minimise contact between a victim and the person accused of the crime
When a victim chooses to make a victim impact statement, the prosecuting agency should refer the victim to a victims’ services agency for support
The personal information of victims should not be disclosed
Investigating and prosecuting agencies that have a victim’s property in their possession should handle and store the property respectfully, lawfully and securely
A victim may seek compensation or financial assistance on application
A victim of crime may apply to be included on the Victims’ Register

To learn more about what the Charter principles mean for you and your specific circumstances, please contact us on 1800 010 017 or enquiries@vocc.vic.gov.au (External link)