Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Somewhat Braindead

No, I'm not talking about anyone in the criminal justice system tonight!  :)

I spent the day at UCF attending a conference sponsored by the National Center for Victims of Crime and am a bit overwhelmed by all that I learned. In addition to providing assistance to victims, the NCVC is involved in several legislative initiatives to benefit crime victims.

Their current campaign here in Florida relates to amending the State Constitution to eliminate statutes of limitation (the deadlines for filing legal actions) in cases of sexual battery against children. The current Statute of Limitation for a child sexual abuse case is 7 years after the age of majority (or at age 25), or within 4 years after the victim leaves the dependency of the abuser, or within 4 years from the time of discovery by the victim of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later. Since it is not unusual for a victim to not disclose the abuse until 15 or more years after the fact, many victims have no legal recourse because the Statute of Limitations has expired. You can download a petition from Protect Our Kids First in order to get this issue on the ballot.

Prior to this conference, I knew little to nothing about civil remedies that victims of crime had at their disposal. Jeffrey Dion, Director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, together with three local attorneys presented too much information to digest in one day. These attorneys were not your stereotypical ambulance-chasing lawyers looking to make a quick buck. Each of them truly has a heart for victims and the all-too-often failure of the criminal justice system to provide for the needs of those victims. The NCVBA provides valuable information to attorneys, victims and advocates; attorney referrals to victims; an online database of civil litigation cases; and maintains a list of expert witnesses.

Finally, for a comprehensive source of information about crime victim rights and protections, click here.


  1. Thanks for posting such great information and resources......

  2. This article contains some really good information and is very informative about victim's rights. Even if the abuser isn't criminally charged, a victim can seek justice by way of a civil tort action. The good thing about Victimlaw.info is all the links are already there. I just spent the last hour reviewing the National Center for Victims of Crime link. I just wish the Courts would take DV more seriously and have harsher sentences for the abusers. Thanks for gathering all this information.