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Justice for Victims

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The focus of this videotape is on providing justice for crime victims and making them feel safe in their daily lives and on the Federal response to crime victims.
Approximately 40 million Americans are victims of serious crimes each year. While rights of the accused are recognized, the pain and suffering experienced by crime victims are not always acknowledged. Revictimization by the criminal justice system after being victimized by crime is a frequent complaint of victims. Since 1982, some progress has been made in the area of victim rights legislation. Federal law protects victim rights, and goals are to treat victims with fairness and to allow victims to participate in court proceedings and the criminal justice process. Prosecution must keep victims informed as a case against an offender develops and is tried. Victim-witness coordinators can help victims in a variety of ways, including assistance with the preparation of victim impact statements. Victims have the right to know about an offender's custody status and often need assistance to deal with physical, emotional, and financial losses. The Office of Victims of Crime is the primary Federal agency for victim assistance.