OAKLAND – As part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today highlighted resources available through the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Victims’ Services Unit (VSU), and through additional outlets to support and empower victims, survivors, and their families. Attorney General Bonta urges service providers and all members of the public to use these resources to help ensure all those who have been the victim of a crime are aware of many of the key rights, resources, and protections available to them in California.
“Victims of crime deserve our unwavering support and compassion as they navigate the criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Bonta. “During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and all year round, I urge Californians to take advantage of these life-saving resources to better serve all members of our community. At the California Department of Justice, we are committed to empowering those impacted by crime as they rebuild their lives.”
CA DOJ Victims’ Services Unit
VSU works to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally-sensitive support services to all crime victims, including underserved, at-risk, underrepresented, and vulnerable populations. Through the unit’s services, victims can track the status of appeals, recusal cases, and other matters being handled by DOJ’s prosecutors. VSU has a dedicated and well-trained team of advocates who provide appeal notifications to victims and their families. These updates allow victims and their families to exercise their rights to address the court or otherwise participate in criminal justice proceedings.
VSU also supports service providers and members of the public in tracking the progress of sexual assault evidence kits as they are processed both at the state and local level through the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Tracking (SAFE-T database). Importantly, VSU’s advocates work to help victims and their families access available resources that are a critical part of the healing process, such as mental health services, safety net services, and assistance through the California Victim Compensation Board for related crime expenses.
Additional Resources Available for Victims
Attorney General Bonta is committed to protecting all victims of crime and violence. In April, the Attorney General joined a multistate coalition in a legal effort asking the United States Supreme Court to review and overturn the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in United States v. Rahimi, which held that the federal prohibition on possession of firearms by an individual subject to a domestic violence restraining order violates the Second Amendment.
To receive information on resources, notification of an appeal, or notification on a case the Attorney General's Office is prosecuting, visit https://oag.ca.gov/victimservices/notification, call VSU at (877) 433-9069 or email VSU at VictimServices@doj.ca.gov. To learn more about the work of VSU, please watch our Demystifying the DOJ Presentation on the Victims’ Services Unit.