The role of South Australia’s Commissioner for Victims’ Rights will be expanded, to ensure greater supports are available to victims of crime as they make their way through the criminal justice system.
Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said the Commissioner’s office has been awarded an additional $250,000 a year in ongoing funding from the Victims of Crime Fund to act as a central point of contact for victims seeking assistance and support.
“One of the key roles the Commissioner will be to put measures in place that supports victims throughout the court process, which for many people is an intimidating and unfamiliar process” Ms Chapman said.
The funding will also enable the Commissioner to ensure that victims, particularly those in regional areas, have the adequate support they need to prepare victim impact statements.
Attorney-General Chapman said there has been duplication in services in the past, with both the Victims Rights’ Commissioner and VSS providing similar support services, such as information, advice and advocacy to victims.
She said making the Commissioner’s office a central coordination point for victims – with counselling to be offered through Relationships Australia South Australia – will ensure victims have easier access to services.
“Victims of crime often experience levels of trauma none of us would ever hope to endure, and these changes will help victims of crime access the supports they need when they need them,” Ms Chapman said.
“Given her knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system, I believe Bronwyn Killmier is well-placed to coordinate support for victims throughout the criminal justice process, and to look to new innovative ways to assist victims of crime.”