A related victim is a person who, at the time of the violent crime:
- was a close family member of a deceased primary victim;
- was a dependant of a deceased primary victim; or
- had an intimate personal relationship with a deceased primary victim.
A ‘close family member’ is defined as a person who has a genuine personal relationship with the victim at the time of the victim’s death and who is:
- the spouse of the victim;
- a parent, guardian or step-parent of the victim;
- a child or step-child of the victim or some other child of whom the victim is the guardian; or
- a brother, sister, step-brother or step-sister of the victim.
‘Intimate personal relationship’ is not defined by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 however the following factors (please note that this list is not exhaustive) may lead to the view that there exists an intimate personal relationship: ongoing sexual relationship; ongoing emotional commitment and comfort and support of a personal nature; ongoing sharing of confidences, intimacies and personal information; ongoing advice of a personal nature; ongoing sharing of financial information and plans; ongoing sharing of social contacts and attendances at social functions.
The Tribunal may make an award to any one related victim of up to $50,000 for the distress experienced as a result of the death of the primary victim, and for:
- reasonable counselling services;
- medical expenses;
- funeral expenses; and/or
- any loss of money expected from the deceased.
The total maximum cumulative amount that may be awarded to all the related victims of any one primary victim cannot exceed the prescribed limit of $100,000 (unless the Tribunal finds that exceptional circumstances exist).
All related victim applications are to be lodged at the Melbourne Principal Registry.