Victim Assistance

Mission Statement

The goal of the Victim Assistance Program is to support and aid victims of crime as they move through the criminal justice process; to provide them with assistance, services, and resource information; to promote participation in the criminal justice system by educating victims about their rights and to advocate for the enforcement of these rights; and to coordinate with other community agencies to ensure continuity of support for victims.

In 2013, the Victim Assistance Program ordered over $7,150,000.00 in restitution to victims of crime in Washington County.  Twenty-two volunteers and interns gave over 3600 hours to the program, the equivalent of 1.75 full time employee.

Definitions

A victim is a person who has suffered financial, social, psychological or physical harm as a result of a crime and, in the case of a homicide, is a member of the immediate family of the victim.

A criminal defendant is a person charged with a crime.  A criminal defendant is not considered a victim.

Services Provided

  • Inform victims of their rights and help them to invoke and uphold those rights
  • Court accompaniment throughout all stages of the criminal justice process
  • Notification of court events and case status
  • Assistance withrestitution and Crime Victims' Compensation Program applications
  • Safety planning and referrals to community resources
  • Assistance to victims whose protective orders have been violated
  • Provide referrals to counseling and/or community resources

Case Status Notification

Victim advocates call or send a written notice of the charges filed, a brochure outlining crime victims' rights and a form to use to invoke specific rights, a loss form for requesting restitution from the defendant and a brochure that provides general information about the criminal justice system and the Victim Assistance Program.  Follow-up phone calls or written notifications are made at important steps in the case, such as a trial setting.  At the close of the case, a summary of the sentence is sent to the victim.

VINE: Victim Information and Notification Everyday

If you would like to be notified of the defendant's release from custody, you may register through the Oregon VINE service by calling 1-877-674-8463 or on-line.  VINE is an automated system of notification and is available in English and Spanish.

Domestic Violence

The last two months of 2009 ended with an unimaginable number of tragic deaths as a result of domestic violence.  Read an article in the county's employee newsletter Uncommon Knowledge that talks about what county agencies are doing to reduce the impact of domestic violence on our community.  Uncommon Knowledge, January 2010 PDF icon.