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Helping Victims

The Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit functions to guide victims through the criminal justice process, to ensure victims’ rights are honored, and to assist victims in obtaining services to help them cope with the trauma they have suffered. Through the efforts of a dedicated team of Victim Advocates, the Victims’ Assistance Unit provides comprehensive services to victims of all types of crime.

Advocates accompany victims to court, provide a supportive ear, and display a calm strength to help victims get through court proceedings that can be frightening and highly emotional. With the help of Victim Advocates, victims can obtain protective court orders. Advocates also assist in processing, filing, and verifying of restitution claims filed with the California Victims of Crime Compensation Program. Skilled in crisis intervention, victim advocates offer an array of referrals to service providers who respond to the individual needs of victims.

Victim advocates also regularly make presentations to community organizations, service clubs, schools, and law enforcement agencies on topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and crimes involving juvenile offenders.

For more information about services available to victims, please call the Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit at (805) 654-3622. For contact information click here.


Services Provided to Victims

The Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit was established for the purpose of reducing the trauma and insensitive treatment that victims may experience in the wake of a crime. Victim advocates provide comprehensive services to victims, including the following:

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Summary of Victims' Rights

The California Victims’ Bill of Rights, also known as Marsy’s Law, was enacted by voters on November 4, 2008. This measure amended the California Constitution to provide additional rights to victims. (Cal. Const., Article 1, section 28 (a)-(e).) The Victims’ Bill of Rights provides crime victims with the following rights, as summarized below:

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Notification Rights

Victims of crime, their next of kin, parent or guardian of minor victims, witness, or concerned citizens may request to be notified of the release, death, or escape of a convicted offender.

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Recover Financial Losses

If you have been a victim of a violent crime, the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) can help you recover financially. THE VCGCB may pay bills only for expenses due to the crime and that are not covered by insurance or other sources. VCGCB does not pay for lost, damaged, or stolen property or for pain and suffering.

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Victim Services Volunteer Program

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office provides services to thousands of victims every year and seeks qualified volunteers to make an important contribution to public safety and crime victims in Ventura County. Volunteer staff complete an initial 48 hours of training, which prepares them to assist victims with certain services, including obtaining a restraining order, emergency shelter placement, and court accompaniment. Volunteer training includes the following subject areas.

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Remembering Ellie Liston

Ellie retired on October 1, 1999, as a Senior Victim Advocate for the District Attorney’s Office and, soon thereafter, on January 4, 2000, lost her courageous battle with cancer.

Ellie’s legacy is the success and strength of today’s Crime Victims’ Assistance Unit. She provided the foundation upon which it was built and for 19 years nurtured its growth while fighting for victims’ rights at home and throughout the state. She championed the cause and will forever be remembered by crime victims, prosecutors, members of the law enforcement community and the court system, coworkers, and everyone whose lives she has touched.