Victim Assistance

Victim Assistance

Victim Services staff is on-call 24/7 every day of the year. We understand crime and violence affects individuals and families in many ways. In order to meet those needs, we offer support and numerous types of services, resources/referrals, and information.

Victim Assistance:

  • death notifications
  • homicide
  • sexual assault
  • crisis intervention strategies
  • victim issues

For information and assistance:
Tracy Lyke at (512) 341-3124

Myra, Victim Advocate

If you are in an abusive relationship, develop a safety plan for you and your children. This is important.


Crime Victims in Texas Have Rights

A victim of crime is defined by Chapter 56 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as (1) someone who is the victim of sexual assault, kidnapping, or aggravated robbery or who has suffered bodily injury or death because of the criminal conduct of another, (2) the close relative (spouse, parent, adult brother or sister, or child) of a deceased victim or (3) the guardian of a victim. The law also applies to victims of juvenile crime, including victims who suffer property loss.

The State of Texas intends that victims of crime receive the following safeguards, assurances and considerations:

  • Receive adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;
  • have their safety considered by the magistrate when setting bail;
  • receive information, on request, of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, of cancellations and rescheduling prior to the event, and appellate court decisions after the decisions are entered but before they are made public;
  • be informed, when requested, by a peace officer about the defendant’s right to bail and criminal investigation procedures, and from the prosecutor’s office about general procedures in the criminal justice system, including plea agreements, restitution, appeals and parole;
  • provide pertinent information concerning the impact of the crime to the probation department prior to sentencing;
  • information about the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund and payment for a medical examination for a victim of sexual assault, and, on request, referral to social service agencies that provide additional assistance;
  • information, on request, about parole procedures; notification of parole proceedings and of the inmate’s release; and the opportunity to participate in the parole process by submitting written information to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant’s file for consideration by the Board prior to parole;
  • a separate or secure waiting area at all public court proceedings;
  • prompt return of any property that is no longer needed as evidence;
  • have the prosecutor notify, upon request, an employer that the need for the victim’s testimony may involve the victim’s absence from work;
  • on request, counseling and testing regarding AIDS and HIV infection and testing for victims of sexual assault
  • request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the Victim Services Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;
  • be informed of the use and purpose of a victim impact statement, to complete a victim impact statement and to have the statement considered before sentencing and acceptance of a plea bargain and before an inmate is released on parole.

A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim may be present at all public court proceedings, with the consent of the presiding judge;

A judge, attorney for the state, peace officer, or law enforcement agency is not liable for a failure or inability to provide a service enumerated herein.

Victims should also know that they can have a victim advocate accompany them during the sexual assault exam if an advocate is available at the time of the examination.

The Victims Services Unit does not discriminate based on race, sex, age, color, gender, disability, or nationality, or religion.

Please call your crime victim services contacts in law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office for more information about victim services in your community.

Contact the Victim’s Services Unit for more information on these rights 512-341-3124

Crisis Intervention

We will help you deal with the immediate emotional concerns you may have following a crime. For more extensive counseling needs, we can make referrals to specialized counselors and support groups.

Social Service Referral

Advocates can help you find a wide variety of social services, such as emergency housing, medical care, food, financial assistance, and language interpretation.

Information and Support

We will provide you information on your legal rights, and will update you on the investigation of your case. We can lend you support during court and trial proceedings.

Court Proceedings

VINELINK.com is an automated system a person can sign up for that should update jail and court status changes. If requested, RRPD Victim Advocates may be able to attend court hearings.

 

For more information contact Victims Services Unit at 512-341-3124

Victim Services volunteer advocates are citizens who have been trained to provide support to survivors of domestic/family violence, sexual assault, assault, and homicide. Volunteer advocates provide crisis intervention to meet the needs of individuals affected by crime.  Volunteer advocates are required to commit to 24 hours per month of on-call coverage.

Volunteers advocates must attend and successfully complete the Regional Victim Services Training Academy. 

To become a Victim Services Volunteer:

  • Complete a My Impact Page profile and include “Victim Services” in the textbox for volunteer interests.
  • Be available for interview by Victim Services staff and complete a thorough background investigation.
  • Attend RRPD Volunteer Orientation
  • Top applicants will be invited to attend the Regional Victim Services Training Academy

Contact Victim Services Coordinator Tracy Lyke to express interest and ask any questions you may have. She can be reached by email or by calling 512-341-3124.

If you are in an abusive relationship, develop a safety plan for you and your children. This is important.

Resources:

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