A “Victim” is defined by law as the person or persons who have suffered financial, social, psychological or physical harm as a result of a crime. If the Victim is a minor, this includes the legal guardian of the minor. In the case of homicide, Victims include the decedent’s immediate family members.
Being the Victim of a crime can be a traumatic, painful and expensive experience. The violation and intrusion often leaves Victims and their families with feelings of anger and frustration. Victims look to the criminal justice system to provide them with justice and vindication. Most have never had any experience with the courts and, at the worst of times, find themselves suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar and complex system. It is the mission of the Malheur County District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Program to ensure that each Victim is treated with fairness, respect and compassion as their case moves through the criminal justice system. Our Victim Advocates work closely with the Deputy District Attorneys as they prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the citizens of Malheur County. We are dedicated to reducing the impact of the crime on you, the Victim, by providing the emotional and practical support you need to deal with problems resulting from victimization, and to guide and support you through the criminal justice system.
What Victim Advocates Can Do
Upon contact by law enforcement, Victim Advocates provide 24-hour on-call response for the Victims of Domestic/Family Violence; this immediate crisis intervention service is then followed by on-going support and advocacy throughout the investigation and prosecution of the case
All Victims of crimes being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office receive:
- Information about their rights as victims
- Information about how the criminal justice system works
- Notice of court hearings, cancellations, and rescheduling for the victim/witness
- Accompaniment to court appearances
- Specific information and updates on the case, including case progress and disposition
- Assistance preparing to testify as a witness at a hearing or trial
- Assistance with preparation of a Victim Impact Statement prior to sentencing
- Notification of suspect’s release from custody from the county jail, notice of parole from the prison system, and assistance registering for VINE
- Assistance with release of property held as evidence
- Assistance in applying for the Crime Victim Compensation Program
- Assistance in applying for restitution from the defendant
- Information and referrals to sources of counseling, medical treatment, legal assistance, housing and energy services, support groups, shelters, etc.
- Assistance in obtaining, renewing or modifying restraining orders, including elder abuse restraining orders
In addition to these services, the Victims’ Assistance Program coordinates, facilitates and monitors a semi-monthly Victims’ Impact Panel (VIP). This is a panel of victims and community partners who come together to speak to adult offenders. As a part of their post-sentencing supervision, these offenders are required to attend the VIP where they hear about the devastation to families, friends and communities resulting from a criminal offense.
Our Victim Advocates are trained to be resourceful, professional and non-judgmental, and are committed to upholding the rights of the Victim. A Victim Advocate will provide emotional support to you, the Victim, from the very first contact through the criminal justice process, and after disposition of the case if necessary, until the services of the Advocate are no longer needed.
What Victim Advocates Cannot Do
- Provide professional counseling to crime victims
- Offer financial assistance to crime victims
- Give legal advice on civil or criminal cases to crime victims
If You Are A Victim
DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF. Victims are innocent people who suffer harm when someone else breaks the law. It is essential for a Victim to recognize that he or she is not at fault.
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Find someone who is willing to listen. Victims usually do not need advice, but rather just someone with whom to talk.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SEEK OUTSIDE HELP. There are times when the healing process requires help from a professional. Clergy, counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists may be valuable help.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. Certain aspects of the system may be exasperating. Be prepared for multiple delays, changes in court dates, and other unexpected events that can, and often do, occur. The legal system can be frustrating in its attempt to blindly administer justice, a goal of ultimate importance. The process is dynamic and unfamiliar to all but those who have studied the justice system for years. It seeks to protect everyone and will accept no compromise in its efforts to be fair and to apply the rule of law, as justice requires
Child Support Services: (541) 473-5127 To find out more about the above information or specific information regarding a case of which you are a victim or witness, please call