Nothing in life could prepare you for being a victim of violent crime. KVCV advocates are here to surround you with services and support from the onset of the crime, through the criminal justice process, and as a lifetime support system. We’re here to help!
what are my rights?
Victims of violent crimes are entitled to certain rights.
Who can help me?
Get connected with a victim’s advocate.
victims rights resources
Links to state and national resources.
You Have a Right to Information.
You have the right to receive available information regarding…
- Protective, emergency, social, and medical services;
- Obtaining assistance from a victim advocate;
- Community-based treatment programs and;
- Where applicable, restitution and crime victim compensation.
- Registration and notification of when a person has been released froma prison, jail, juvenile detention facility, psychiatric facility or under limited circumstances, a forensic psychiatric facility;
- How to be protected from intimidation, harassment, or retaliation; and
- The Victim, Witness and Family Protection Program.
- Obtaining protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts; and
- Upon request, assistance in informing employers that the need for victim or witness cooperation in the prosecution of the case may necessitate absences from work.
You Have the Right to Notification.
You have the right to receive notification regarding…
- Defendant’s release on bond and any special conditions of release;
- Charges filed against the Defendant;
- The Defendant’s pleading to the charges;
- Trial date (including any changes);
- Trial verdict;
- A scheduled hearing for shock probation or bail pending appeal and any resulting orders;
- Changes in custody of the Defendant;
- Sentencing date, and any Parole Board hearings held for the Defendant.
- Any proceedings you are required to attend and prompt notification of any scheduled changes that affect your appearance;
- The right to submit a victim impact a written impact statement upon conviction;
- The right to have the Attorney General notify you if an appeal of the conviction is pursued by the Defendant;
- The right to prompt return of property held for evidentiary purposes unless there is a compelling reason for retaining it;
You Have the Right to Consultation.
You have the right to consultation on the case disposition, including…
- Case dismissal;
- Release of the Defendant, pending judicial proceedings;
- Any conditions of release; A negotiated plea; or
- Defendant’s entry into a Pre-trial Diversion Program.
Who can help me understand my rights and seek compliance?
The Office of Victims Advocacy within the Office of the Attorney General has victim advocates on staff who can answer general questions about crime victim rights, the criminal justice process and related topics and provide referrals to victim advocates and other resources and services in your local area. Our advocates also provide notification of court proceedings, accompaniment to court proceedings and attorney interviews, assistance filing for victim compensation and restitution, referrals to community resources, guidance with victim impact statements, etc. in cases prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General. Our crime victim information line is (800) 372-2551 or (502) 696-5312.
Parole Victim Services staff members are responsible for notifying victims of upcoming parole hearings, processing victim impact statements, scheduling hearings and assisting victims in general ways. More information is available by calling (800) 221-5991 or (502) 564-3620 or at justice.ky.gov.
We’re Here to Help
KVCV Advocates are here to support you from the onset of the crime, throughout the criminal justice process, and as a lifetime support system. We work with your law enforcement advocates and state advocates to assure that you are aware of your rights as a crime victim survivor and have access to all available benefits, services and resources. We accompany you to interviews, meetings, and hearings and answer your questions to help you understand this difficult journey. Our advocates and volunteers, many victim survivors themselves, are here for you with individual one-on-one support and through peer support groups where you will meet and share with other crime victim survivors.
Contact us at (502) 244-4120, and we will be happy to help you identify your next steps and gather the resources available to help you seek justice and healing.
Not local? There are a number of victim-centered agencies that provide peer support, resources, advocacy, and more. We are happy to help you find a contact (volunteers who have advocacy training or experience) if you are not near us. We can also provide phone advocacy and travel to you to accompany you to criminal justice hearings, trials, etc. We also send grief materials, help find a nearby support group where available, and make you aware of your rights as a victim.
Advocates in the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
The other place a homicide victim survivor should look for an Advocate is at the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in the Judicial District where the homicide occurred (see link below). Kentucky’s Commonwealth Attorney Office victim advocates will make you aware of meetings and court hearings during the adjudication process. We encourage you to contact the office in your district for the most knowledgeable help for your unique situation.
Victim Advocates Resources
Commonwealth and County Attorneys
This searchable list of attorneys for each of the 60 Judicial Districts in Kentucky will provide you information you need to reach out to a contact who can help you with your unique situation.
Kentucky State Police Victim Advocates
Kentucky State Police now has Victim Advocates, who can help you throughout the legal process. To find the right Advocate, contact the Post who responded to the crime and request to speak to the Advocate.
Crime Victim Services
Information on dealing with grief from Crime Victim Services’ (CVS) whose mission is to help victims prevail over the trauma of their victimization by assisting and advocating for safety, healing, justice, and restitution.