Finding the Help You Need
Law, Investigations and JusticeVictim Assist Queensland – 1300 546 587
Victim Assist Queensland (VAQ) is a Queensland Government assistance scheme for victims of crime in Queensland. VAQ commenced operations on 1 December 2009, replacing the previous criminal injury compensation schemes. VAQ focuses on assisting the recovery of victims of crime who have been injured as a result of an act of violence. Please see the following important link that relates to crime scene cleaning:
Right from the first moment the Queensland Police Service become aware of a homicide, one or more Detectives will commence investigations into the case. They are responsible for organising forensic tests, interviewing and taking statements from witnesses, and ultimately compiling every shred of evidence available on the case. The Detectives will liaise with the victim’s family (we encourage you to write down the name and contact number for the Detective working on your loved one’s case) and keep you up to date with the progress of the case. Naturally, there will be some aspects of the case that must remain confidential – even to you and your family; this is to ensure integrity in the outcome of the case. Your detective can explain the importance of this to you for when it goes to trial.
Once the case has been committed to trial (through the Magistrates Court) it will be handed over to the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP). It may then take between 12-18 months for the trial to commence, after the committal hearing, and during this time you and your family will be appointed a Victim Liaison Officer (VLO). VLO’s are the conduit of information between your family, and the Prosecutor on your case. They are responsible for keeping you informed of any mentions, alterations to the charges, applications by the accused to the mental health tribunal, or any acceptance of pleas.
Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS) is Australia’s most comprehensive public health science facility based at Coopers Plains in Brisbane. They provide expert analysis, advice, teaching and research as a vital part of the government response to threats to public health and the environment, epidemics, civil emergencies, criminal investigations and coroners’ inquiries into reportable deaths. More than 260 scientists and 200 technicians and support staff work to deliver expert services through 14 laboratories and specialist units.
This role is to support victims of crime where the perpetrator has a mental illness, to assist in writing non-party statements, court support, and also with explaining and demystifying the mental health defence and forensic orders. Additionally, this role coordinates support and referral when required.
The Public Trustees are often called upon to mediate, or determine the distribution of assets following the death of a family member. They are commonly called upon if the deceased did not have a Last Will & Testament, or in the event of feuding or divided families. QHVSG does not provide advice regarding the distribution of assets however you may find it helpful to contact the Public Trustees directly.
Legal Aid provides free legal representation to anyone who meets the criteria of their merit-test. They can provide legal assistance and representation in areas of criminal; family; and civil law.
The Victims’ Register is a free service provided to the families of homicide victims by the Department of Corrective Services. This service keeps families informed of anything concerning the offender. For example, changes in their classification, in which prison they are located, and their eligibility for parole. This is a free, and excellent service that we recommend all families involved with homicides become registered with.
Commissioner for Victims’ Rights, South Australia; http://www.voc.sa.gov.au
Homicide Victims Support Group, New South Wales; http://www.hvsgnsw.org.au/
Homicide Victims Support Group, Western Australia; http://www.hvsg.org.au
Victoria Homicide Victims Support Group; http://www.victoriahomicide.com.au
Crime Victims’ Support (Victoria); http://www.cvsa.asn.au/
Homicide Victims Support South Australia; Ph (08) 8305 9670; http://www.health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=da&did=10042279
Victims of Crime Northern Territory; http://www.victimsofcrime.org.au/
DV Connect; http://www.dvconnect.org/
Grief Link; http://grieflink.org.au/
Paradise Kids; http://www.paradisekids.org.au/
Beyond Blue; http://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Depression Net; http://depressionet.com.au/
Angel Hands; http://www.angelhands.org.au/