Chapter 5 Supplement Financial Assistance for
Victims of Crime
Section 3, Compensation
The California State Board of Control (SBOC) has enacted legislation that expands the
definitions of victims of crime who are eligible for compensation:
- Children who witness an act of domestic violence are now presumed to have sustained
physical injury and are eligible for a higher level of compensation benefits (Government
Code #13960 (B) (3)).
- The definition of derivative victim has been expanded to include persons who become
primary caregivers of minors who were victims of child abuse or sexual abuse, and to
include residents of other states (Government Code #13960 (A) (2)).
- Vehicular manslaughter (motor vehicle and water vehicle) has been added to the list of
eligible crimes (Government Code #13960 (c) (5)).
- A minor under sixteen years of age who sustains emotional injury due to unlawful sexual
intercourse with a person over the age of twenty-one is now presumed to have sustained
physical injury if felony charges are filed (Government Code #13960 (d) (2) (I)).
The legislation expands benefits for expenses incurred by an adult victim in relocating away
from the defendant:
- Adds benefits for expenses to install or increase residential security related to a crime in the
- Adds benefits for the expense of retrofitting a residence or vehicle to make it accessible to a
victim if the victim is permanently disabled as a result of a crime (Chapter 584 Statutes of
1999 (California Assembly Bill 606) 1 January 2000).
- In an effort to increase awareness and knowledge about compensation benefits for victims of
crime, and to stimulate greater involvement of victim service professionals in assisting
victims to apply for compensation benefits, many state compensation programs have
initiated and developed trainings for this purpose. For example, Pennsylvania has
developed an extensive series of trainings called "connections" trainings, bringing together
victim advocates, police officers, prosecutors, and community leaders. These regional
training programs emphasize the need for collaboration among criminal justice system
personnel and other allied victim service professionals in ensuring that victims' needs for
information and assistance in applying for compensation benefits are comprehensively met.
Other states that have initiated such training include New Mexico, which offers both basic
and advanced training on compensation on a monthly basis, and Florida, which requires all
VOCA subgrantees to send personnel to a multiday basic training that includes several
hours on crime victims' compensation.
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|2000 NVAA Text|
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