A person may apply for financial assistance if:
a violent crime was committed against them and they have suffered an injury
the crime occurred in Victoria
they are a primary, secondary or related victim of that violent crime as defined by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996, or a person who has incurred funeral expenses as a direct result of the death of a primary victim.
Further information regarding each type of victim category is outlined below.
A primary victim is a person who is injured or dies as a direct result of:
- a violent crime committed against him or her;
- trying to arrest someone he/she believes, on reasonable grounds, has committed a violent crime;
- trying to prevent the commission of a violent crime; or
- trying to aid or rescue someone he/she believes is the victim of a violent crime.
A secondary victim is a person who is injured as a direct result of:
- being present at the scene of a violent crime and witnessing that crime
- subsequently becoming aware of a violent crime where he/she is the parent/guardian of the primary victim who was under the age of 18 at the time the criminal act was committed.
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;
- 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.
A person who has incurred funeral expenses as a direct result of the death of a primary victim and who is not a related victim may be awarded assistance for funeral expenses actually and reasonably incurred by him or her. One such example could be where the deceased primary victim has no close living relatives and a friend (or distant relation) is therefore paying for funeral costs. That person may apply to the Tribunal for reimbursement of the funeral costs only.
Applying for another person
An application for financial assistance may be made on behalf of another person if:
- the victim is a child: The application may be made by a parent/guardian or another person the Tribunal considers appropriate.
- the victim is a represented person within the meaning of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986: The application may be made by an appointed guardian or administrator.
- The Tribunal considers that the victim needs assistance in making an application: The application may be made by any person the Tribunal considers appropriate.