U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Victims of Violence: A Guide to Help Bring Justice

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2007
0 pages
Intended for victims of violence (including family survivors of murder victims), this DVD guides victims through the various phases of case processing so they will know what to expect from their experiences in the criminal justice system.
The presentation begins with a sample of victims briefly describing their victimization. This is followed by comments by various professionals in the criminal justice system about some aspect of how cases are processed and the practical implications for victims. A police investigator describes various investigative procedures, including the elimination of suspects, which usually includes the questioning of apparent victims concerning their possible involvement in or knowledge about the crime. Victims are advised that it is their choice about offering information to various individuals who contact them. District attorneys, a public defender, and a judge provide information about various phases of case processing, including arraignment; discovery; pretrial motions; plea negotiations; presumption of innocence; burden of proof; case delays; writ of appeal; and the role of the prosecutor, defense attorney, and the judge. Various services available to victims are also discussed by representatives of organizations that provide these services. Aspects of a trial are also discussed, including jury selection, conviction, victim impact statement, and sentencing. Other topics addressed are the rights of a defendant, victims' rights, and how victims handle unsolved cases and the enduring psychological impact of the crime. Because of the length of the DVD as a whole, the producers recommend that it be viewed by "chapters" in a series of presentations.