New York takes steps to increase victim services awareness
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- This week the New York State Office of Victim Services took steps to inform New Yorkers about access to state programs and financial help by launching a new awareness campaign.
In previous years the New York State Office of Victim Services raised awareness through posters and radio advertisements but this year they took a focus to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
“We’re recognizing that we have to meet people where they are, and we have to be able to access the platforms that they would be using where they would see this information and where it would resonate with them,” said Elizabeth Cronin, director of the New York State Office of Victim Services.
Cornin said many New Yorkers impacted by reported crimes don't know they are eligible for financial compensation and free state-funded programs.
“We want them to know that they’re not alone, that these services are available and they’re available for them,” she said.
The Office of Victim Services funds 239 programs providing services such as crisis counseling, legal assistance and shelter.
Individuals who are victims of a crime that occurred in the state of New York can receive help from any of the state programs regardless of residency or immigration status.
The state also provides compensation for medical expenses not covered by insurance, burial expenses, occupational rehabilitation, and more.
When filing a victim compensation claim an individual can submit a range of documents for proof of the crime including a police report, an order of protection, a child or adult protective services report, and a forensic rape exam. Victim assistance programs can assist individuals who have not reporter the crime.
Applications for victim compensation can be found through the Office of Victim Services website.
Cronin said these state resources can help the recovery process.
“What we think of victim services as is that when you get the help and you begin to see that there’s hope, that’s when you can begin the healing process,” she said.
The awareness campaign will continue on until Oct. 29.