RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS AND WITNESSES ACT
A victim of sexual violence is guaranteed certain rights under the Illinois constitution and the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act. Among other things, survivors have the right to be notified about the status of their case and to be involved in decisions about the progress and outcome of the case. In order for these rights to be enforced, the survivor must acknowledge and assert these rights and submit to the court. The advocate would be able to provide more information about the process of assertion of rights and the necessary documentation.
The following is a list of rights for all victims of violent crimes:
- The victim has the right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy and to be free from harassment, intimidation and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
- The victim has the right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on a request for access to any of the Victim’s records, information, or communications which are privileged or confidential by law.
- The victim has a right to timely notification of all court proceedings.
- The victim has the right to communicate with the prosecution.
- The victim has the right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue and any court proceedings involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea or sentencing.
- The victim has the right to be notified of information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.
- The victim has a right to a timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
- The victim has the right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
- The victim has the right to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in denying or fixing the amount of bail, determining whether to release the defendant, and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction.
- The victim has the right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim’s testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.
- The victim has the right to have an advocate and other support person of the victim’s choice present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence.
- The victim has a right to restitution.
Under Illinois law, the victim has the right to confidentiality at the rape crisis center. Anything that the survivor tells the advocate or counselor (or any rape crisis center staff members or direct service volunteers) is confidential. Only the survivor decides if information can or should be told to anyone else.
Please click the following links for more information: