Information for Crime Victims, Witnesses and Law Enforcement
New York State Government Agencies
The New York State Police has a Crime Victim Specialist (CVS) assigned in each of the upstate Troops. As part of the Crime Victims Specialists Program, the specialists work closely with both police and local crime victim service agencies to best meet the needs of victims. Some of the services provided include: crisis intervention, short-term counseling, safety planning, and criminal court procedure information. Specialists also assist victims with finding available services, and completing victim compensation paperwork.
New York State Attorney General's Office works on matters of interest and concern to crime victims and their families, and develops policy and programs to meet those needs.
New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) (formerly Crime Victims Board) provides compensation to innocent victims of crime in a timely, efficient and compassionate manner; funds direct services to crime victims via a network of community-based programs; and advocates for the rights and benefits of all innocent victims of crime. 1-800-247-8035
New York State Department of Correctional Services - VINE Program was enacted by the state Legislature in 1998 as part of Jenna's Law, which ended discretionary parole for first-time violent felony offenders. This law authorizes crime victims as well as all other New Yorkers to receive information relating to the crime, sentence and release date of persons serving sentences in state prison. Call 1-888-846-3469 to register for telephone notification of an offender's release from custody. Visit www.vinelink.com to register for e-mail notification of an offender's release from custody. For additional information and for referrals to victim service programs throughout New York, call the Department's Office of Victim Service at 1-800-783-6059.
New York State Department of Health - Rape Crisis Program oversees the administration of county level Rape Crisis Centers (RCC) and Sexual Assault Forensics Examiner (SAFE) programs. The program also provides training and funding for local rape crisis service initiatives. 518-474-3664
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Unit is responsible for administering the STOP VAWA Formula award as well as other discretionary grants received from the Federal Office on Violence Against Women. The Annual STOP Formula award is approximately $6 million; however, all states received a substantial reduction in FFY 2007. Funds are distributed (per statutory regulation) to law enforcement and prosecution agencies, as well as courts, and not-for-profit agencies for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking programs.
New York State Division of Parole - Victim Services Unit makes a special effort to ensure that victims of crimes do not become forgotten parties in the criminal justice process. Parole has worked with the New York State Office of Victim Services (formerly Crime Victims Board) and local district attorneys to help ensure that victims are aware of their rights with regard to the parole process. Landmark legislation in 1994 allowed for victims to meet face-to-face with a member of the Board of Parole, or to submit a written victim impact statement to the Board. Procedures have been established allowing the Division to maintain contact with crime victims and, at their request, keep them apprised of parole interview dates and decisions, and the release dates of the offenders who victimized them.
Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) is committed to improving practices that promote public safety, ensure offender accountability, provide restitution to victims and reduce recidivism. OPCA provides the tools necessary to enable local jurisdictions to make the best use of their staff and programs. The programs funded through OPCA enhance New York's criminal justice and juvenile justice policies and offer specialized services that are supported by research including employment, training, and treatment - all of which substantially contribute to successful and longstanding outcomes.
New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) advises the Governor and the Legislature on statewide domestic violence policy and legislation, promotes and facilitates cooperation among state agencies and between various levels of government in the delivery and/or funding of domestic violence services, promotes cross-systems' responses to domestic violence, and conducts statewide community outreach and public education. OPDV offers training and technical assistance, public education and outreach. OPDV is dedicated to creating a State in which all people live free from domestic violence — where equality, dignity and respect are actively embraced.
Non-Governmental Agencies in New York State
New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence seeks to eradicate domestic violence and to ensure the provision of effective and appropriate services to victims of domestic violence through community outreach, education, training, technical assistance and policy development. The Coalition's principles and practices prioritize the safety and concerns of individuals who are abused, and provide support and encouragement for the participation of individuals who are abused in the struggle to eradicate personal and institutional violence.
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) strives to end all forms of sexual violence and exploitation by advocating for the effective response to all people affected by sexual assault. NYSCASA does this by providing technical support and assistance to rape crisis centers, working legislatively to improve public policy, and confronting societal denial of the impact of sexual violence through statewide outreach and education.
National Center for Victims of Crime represents a national effort to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. The Center is dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is dedicated to organizing collective power by advancing transformative work, thinking and leadership of communities and individuals working to end the violence in our lives. NCADV programs support and involved battered women across all racial, social, religious and economic groups, ages and lifestyles.
National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) works closely with advocacy organizations and individuals to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs. NNEDV offers a range of programs and initiatives to address the complex causes and far-reaching consequences of domestic violence. NNEDV further supports the fight to end domestic violence by providing state coalitions with critical information and resources, from training and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategic funding.
US Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provides substantial funding to state victim assistance and compensation programs — the lifeline services that help victims to heal. The agency supports training designed to educate criminal justice and allied professionals regarding the rights and needs of crime victims.
US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides federal leadership to reduce violence against women, and to administer justice for and strengthen services to all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This is accomplished by developing and supporting the capacity of state, local, tribal, and non-profit entities involved in responding to violence against women.
New York State Crime Victims Board Chapter 173 was enacted to ensure that crime victims are made aware of their rights and are informed about the existence of victims' services and programs. This law requires the CVB to provide information cards to police agencies for distribution to crime victims. The cards inform crime victims of the CVB's locations, phone numbers, website address and services. The card also includes information on a victim's basic rights and provides space for handwritten entry of appropriate local victim assistance programs.
The New York State Fair Treatment Standards for Crime Victims* ensure that crime victims routinely receive emergency social and medical services as soon as possible and are given information on the availability of crime victim compensation, and counseling, treatment or support for victims. The standards also require victim notification of the steps that law enforcement officers or district attorneys must take to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation. Finally, the standards require victim/witness notification, if current address information has been provided, of the arrest of a suspect, the suspect's initial appearance before a judicial officer, a suspect's release pending judicial proceedings, and information regarding the status or outcome of judicial proceedings.
*Note - once at the site, click "Laws of New York State," then EXC Executive, then Article 23.
Domestic Violence Related Services
Domestic Violence Hotline Numbers by County (New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence).
The NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline:
- 1-800-942-6906 (English)
- 1-800-942-6908 (Spanish)
- TTY for the Hearing Impaired: 1-800-818-0656 (English)
- TTY for the Hearing Impared: 1-800-780-7660 (Spanish and includes a language bank to 140 different languages)
- In New York City:
- Call the all language, 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-621-4673
- (TTY 1-800-810-7444) or 311
Domestic Violence Service Providers by County (New York State Office of Children and Family Services) Note: these are business addresses and do NOT represent actual domestic violence shelter locations.
Sexual Assault Related Services
New York State Department of Health Certified Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Services
New York State Department of Health Rape Crisis Providers - pdf, 9 pages
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services: Sexual Offense Evidence Collection (SOEC) Kit. The SOEC kit was developed to create a standard protocol for hospital personnel to follow in the collection of evidence from persons involved in any criminal incident involving a sexual offense. It was established through the cooperative efforts of the state crime laboratories, the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the State Police and the Department of Health. To request kits, download the Request Form and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries regarding Kit content or use should be e-mailed to email@example.com or contact the Violence Against Women Unit at (518) 457-9726.
Sexual Assault Examiner Locator - Interactive Map: New York's Sexual Assault Examiner (SAE) Programs were established to improve the delivery of emergency care to sexual assault victims. While each program follows basic protocols, programs incorporate unique elements as needed by their service area. Sexual assault examiners and rape crisis counselors work together as a team to provide optimal care for sexual assault victims. This interactive map provides information on each area's Sexual Assault Examiner program.
Other Crime Victim Resources
From the New York State Crime Victims Board (CVB):
- Directory of Victim Assistance Programs (VAP): County-by-county links and contact information for programs offered in New York State. en Español
- Claim Application: The CVB has developed a single, comprehensive claim form that victims can use to apply for all CVB compensation benefits for which they may be eligible, including essential personal property, personal injury, and/or death benefits.
- A Guide to Crime Victims Compensation in New York State (pdf)
- The Rights of Crime Victims in New York State (pdf)
From the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS):
- VINE Program: VINE was enacted by the state Legislature in 1998 as part of Jenna's Law, which ended discretionary parole for first-time violent felony offenders. This law authorizes crime victims as well as all other New Yorkers to receive information relating to the crime, sentence and release date of persons serving sentences in state prison. Call 1-888-846-3469 to register for telephone notification of an offender's release from custody. Visit www.vinelink.com to register for e-mail notification of an offender's release from custody. For additional information and for referrals to victim service programs throughout New York, call the Department's Office of Victim Service at 1-800-783-6059.
- Victim Services / Servicios a la Víctima: DOCS has links on its website, in both English and Spanish, to printable victim notification forms, telephone numbers and other information to assist crime victims.
From the New York State Division of Parole:
Computer-based training on the use of the Domestic Incident Report (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services)
Domestic Violence Training and Technical Assistance offered by New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for:
New York State Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Training Project (New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Law Enforcement individuals are encouraged to participate in the New York State Crime Victim Assistance Academy.