In Connecticut, all victims of crime have rights that are protected by law.
As a crime victim, you have the right to:
- Assistance in obtaining immediate medical care, if required
- Request to be notified of court proceedings, including arrest, arraignment, conviction, sentencing, imprisonment and release of the offender
- Be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process
- Communicate with the prosecution
- Object to or support any plea agreement entered into by the accused and the prosecution and to make a statement in court
- Assistance with preparation of a victim impact statement
- Apply for compensation for expenses you incurred as a result of the crime, such as medical expenses, counseling, lost wages, and funeral costs. To learn more, visit CT’s Judicial Branch Office of Victim Services (OVS) Crime Victim Compensation program or call OVS at (888) 286-7347.
- Be protected from harassment from your employer for appearing as a witness if you receive a subpoena
- Request to be informed of the services and agencies that can help you, including a Family Violence Victim Advocate
- Be treated with fairness and respect throughout the criminal justice process
As a victim of domestic violence, you also have the right to:
- Have all statements made to a domestic violence counselor kept confidential
- Have your address kept confidential
- Apply for a civil restraining order that may order your abuser to stay away from you
Additionally, if you are a victim of domestic violence and the police are called, you should know that:
- The police have the responsibility of whether or not to make an arrest. An officer can arrest your abusive partner with or without your consent if the office believes that a crime has been committed.
- You have the right to request the arrest of an offender and the right to file a complaint with the police.
- If your abusive partner is arrested for a family violence crime, s/he must appear in court the next day that the court is open, at which time you can request a criminal protective order.
- If your partner is arrested, there is a Family Violence Victim Advocate (FVVA) in the criminal court to provide services and support to you. The FVVA is employed by the local domestic violence agency. Family Violence Intervention Units, which are comprised of state employees, are in each court to evaluate cases and provide services to both victims and offenders.
- If you want to know when your partner is scheduled to appear in court, you can contact the clerk of the court for that information. You can also call the statewide, toll free domestic violence hotline at (888) 774-2900 or your local domestic violence agency to be connected with an FVVA.
Connecticut’s Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) is another helpful resource for victims. The OVA is an independent state agency charged with the responsibility of protecting and enforcing the rights of crime victim’s throughout the state of Connecticut. They can be reached at (888) 771-3126.