Located in the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
605 E. Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Maggie Cullinan, Director
Lyria Hailstork, Assistant Director
Shaniece Bradford, Program Assistant
Emma Paine, Program Assistant
The Charlottesville Victim/Witness Assistance Program is designed to ensure that victims and witnesses of criminal offenses will receive fair and compassionate treatment throughout the judicial process.
CRIME VICTIM AND WITNESS RIGHTS:
As a victim or witness of crime, you have certain rights under Virginia's Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act. As a victim of a crime, you may be entitled to:
- your rights as a victim/witness of a crime
- the criminal justice process and your role as a victim/witness
- protective orders and other forms of protection
- how to obtain a warrant if one has not been issued
- financial assistance, including the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund and restitution
- address and telephone confidentiality
- availability of separate waiting areas during court proceedings
- changes in court dates
- significant developments in a case such as possible plea offers
- the defendant's custody status and bond conditions if released from jail
- opportunity to prepare a written Victim Impact Statement prior to sentencing of a defendant
- obtaining a protective order and other forms of protection
- filling out forms for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
- referrals to local resources
- understanding a defendant's bond conditions
- receiving intercession services with your employer
- receiving the services of an interpreter
Threatening a victim or a witness is a crime in Virginia. If you are threatened by the defendant or anyone else in regard to your testimony, call your local police department immediately and notify the Victim/Witness Program at (434) 970-3176.
If you are subpoenaed, we can help you with understanding;
The requirements of a subpoena and testifying in court; interceding with your employer if you are having difficulty taking off work to attend court.
Tips on Testifying
- Be Prepared. Try to recall what happened and picture the scene and the objects there. Don't try to memorize your testimony; simply tell what happened in your own words.
- Speak Clearly and Loudly. If you did not hear the question or understand it, ask the attorney to repeat it.
- Answer Only the Question Asked of You. Stop immediately if the judge interrupts or an attorney objects to a question.
- Do Not Guess or Speculate. If you don't know the answer, say so. If you give an estimate of time or distance, be sure everyone knows you're estimating.
- Tell The Truth. Don't pause to try and figure out if your answer will hurt or help the case. Just answer to the best of your recollection.
- Be Courteous. Try to remain calm and do not lose your temper. Always be polite.
- Dress For Court. Dress comfortably and appropriately (shorts, t-shirts are not good choices however, it is not necessary to dress in a suit). It is often cold in the courtrooms so you may want to bring a sweater with you.
(For more information see the Preparing for Court page)
National Crime Victim's Rights Week -
National Crime Victims' Right Week will be commemorated April 2–8, 2017, and this year’s theme—Strength. Resilience. Justice.—reflects this vision of the future. One in which all victims are strengthened by the response they receive, organizations are resilient in response to challenges, and communities are able to seek collective justice and healing. The Jefferson Area Victim Assistance Coalition will be having a Victim Services Fair on April 2nd, 2017 from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. at the pavilion downtown.
Community Day - April 2, 2017 1:00-4:00
Come out to Community Day at the Ntelos Wireless Pavilion on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville. This event will showcase organizations that provide services to crime victims including law enforcement, fire departments, victim witness and other community organizations. There will be free giveaways, food, arts and crafts and fun for the entire family. Spend the day having fun and learning about all of the resources available in our community!
Sexual Assault Clock
"2016 ended with nearly 263,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. The Rape Clock at sane-sart.com counted them up, minute-by-minute, every minute of last year.But good things are happening to help slow down the clock in 2017. The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), for example, is now fully deployed, making it possible to identify and convict more one-time and serial rapists."
This clock reflects the amount of sexual assaults reported in the United States since January 1,2017 .
NO MORE PROJECT
What is NO MORE?
NO MORE is a new unifying symbol designed to galvanize greater awareness and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Supported by major organizations working to address these urgent issues, NO MORE is gaining support with Americans nationwide, sparking new conversations about these problems and moving this cause higher on the public agenda.
START BY BELIEVING CAMPAIGN - End Violence Against Women International
|About The Campaign|
One failed response... five more assaults.
Start by Believing is a public awareness campaign uniquely focused on the public response to sexual assault. Because a friend or family member is typically the first person a victim confides in after an assault, each individual’s personal reaction is the first step in a long path toward justice and healing. Knowing how to respond is critical—a negative response can worsen the trauma and foster an environment where sexual assault predators face zero consequences for their crimes.
Because rapists attack an average of six times, one failed response can equal five more victims. Start by Believing will lead the way toward stopping this cycle, by creating a positive community response, informing the public, uniting allies and supporters, and improving our personal reactions. The goal is to change the world, and outcomes for victims, one response at a time.