VICTIMS' COMPENSATION PROGRAM CELEBRATES 25 YEARS DURING NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK - Attorney General Janet T. Mills recognizes the program's work in helping victims and their families heal

April 12, 2018

AUGUSTA In recognition of national Crime Victims' Rights Week, Attorney General Janet T. Mills is raising awareness of victims' rights and services, including the assistance offered by the Maine Crime Victims' Compensation Program.

We are proud that each and every day, we have an opportunity to help victims and their families heal. Often times, we are working with folks at the worst time in their life and yet we get to see firsthand their strength and resilience," said Mills. I can tell you that the staff at the Crime Victims' Compensation Program are tireless in their efforts to connect innocent victims with services and resources that may help alleviate one worry or burden for victims and their families.

The Maine Crime Victims' Compensation Program assists innocent victims of violent crimes and, in some cases their family members, with the financial burden of medical bills, counseling, funeral expenses, and other related expenses that are the result of their victimization. Since the program began in 1993, it has received more than 5,100 applications and paid out almost $9 million in claims to victims and their families.

In 2000, the Maine Legislature added forensic sexual assault examinations (sex crimes kits) to the list of eligible reimbursements, allowing victims of sexual assault to present at the hospital for an examination without concern for cost. These costs are now billed directly to the Maine Victims' Compensation Program and have resulted in almost 4,000 claims adding up to almost $2.5 million.

Anyone who has been the victim of a violent crime in Maine, regardless of income or citizenship status, may apply to and be considered by the Crime Victims Compensation Board. The program is funded in part by fees assessed to criminals and federal grants.

Mills added, Every year, thousands of Mainers are affected by crime. For many of these victims, their journey is just beginning. They will need ongoing care, support, and resources. Our job is to raise awareness, work with other state and local resource partners, and help connect victims and their families with the resources and tools to heal and overcome these barriers.

April 8, 2018 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a time to celebrate progress achieved, raise awareness of victims' rights and services, and stand with our families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by crime.

For more information about victims' rights, call the Maine Victims' Compensation Program at 207-624-7882 to learn how you or someone you know and love can get the help they need and deserve.