Civil Legal Services Assistance in Achieving Equal Rights, Access, and Equity for All Victims of Crime

By Hannah Fortini

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Have you suffered physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm as a result of a crime committed by another person? If so, you may be able to receive civil legal assistance from Neighborhood Legal Services through our Legal Aid for Crime Victims program which is funded by the Victims of Crime Act Program (VOCA) through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Camille*, a local university student, had been dating Jason for roughly four months. Their relationship is new and Camille isn’t aware of Jason’s past criminal history including a felony conviction for aggravated assault. One evening, Jason confronts Camille about a male friend, and the confrontation results in severe injury to Camille and police involvement. When Camille is discharged from the hospital, she decides to stay with a friend to make sure Jason cannot locate her. Compounding the trauma that she experienced, Camille was served with a subpoena and police officers have come to her workplace asking questions about the incident. Camille is overwhelmed and not sure where to turn.

Like Camille, many victims of crime need help understanding and using the legal system to enforce their rights. Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) is available to help individuals resolve legal issues resulting from their victimization. Our collaborative team of lawyers and social workers work to support victims of crime in all areas of need. NLS social workers can connect clients to community resources that assist with successfully stabilizing housing, food insecurity, employment concerns, and crucial safety planning. Our lawyers can provide individuals with education, legal advice, limited legal service assistance, and legal representation. Victims may receive comprehensive legal assistance in matters including (but not limited to):

  • Domestic Violence
  • Physical and Sexual Assault
  • Harassment / Stalking
  • Custody
  • Housing
  • Identity Theft

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you are a victim of crime seeking civil legal assistance, please apply online or call our toll-free line at 1-866-761-6572.

Some additional resources have been listed below:

VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a national website that allows victims of crime and the general public to track the location status of incarcerated individuals across the United States. Victims of Crime can visit the link above to gather information about their perpetrator, including if they are in custody, have been released, have been granted parole or probation, or have escaped custody.

Help For Crime Victims Expanded

*Names have been changed to protect the safety and privacy of our clients.

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