More Victims Suffer Losses as California Crime Rates Rise
CalVCP Continues to Raise Awareness of Helpful Services
Sacramento, CA—Violent crimes in California increased 2.92 percent last year, according to the FBI's newly released Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December, 2012. These surprising statistics reverse the declining trend the state has seen in past years, and calls attention to the growing need for crime victims' assistance.
"It was disturbing to view this report and learn that many of our communities are experiencing an increase in violence," said Julie Nauman, Executive Officer for the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
While several cities actually saw violent crimes decrease, the majority experienced a rise in rape, aggravated assault, murder and/or robbery. According to the report, 60 percent of reporting cities experienced a rise in violent crimes, 30 percent experienced a greater than 10 percent increase, and two cities experienced a more than 30 percent jump.
Today, California has a heightened need for victim services. The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) is working diligently to ensure those affected by violent crime are aware of available help. "CalVCP regularly connects with law enforcement and other first responders across the state to ensure they have the most current information regarding victim assistance; we also provide officers with helpful materials to give victims while on the scene of an incident," said Nauman. "Reaching victims of violent crime and providing support is a collaborative effort. We work with many trusted partners to provide the best service possible to those in need."
CalVCP continues to work directly with media outlets and victim advocates to expand awareness of the program's assistance. CalVCP has also broken ground on its outreach to underserved and vulnerable populations, including those in rural locations, or those with physical or cultural barriers. CalVCP regularly provides relevant program and victim resource information through Blogspot, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube.
"Help is available," Nauman concluded. "I encourage anyone who has been a victim of a violent crime to contact the California Victim Compensation Program."
The Annual Uniform Crime Report, January - December, 2012 is expected to publish this fall. CalVCP received more than 53,000 applications and provided more than $70 million in compensation to crime victims last fiscal year. Through the program, victims can receive reimbursement for crime-related expenses including costs associated with funeral services, medical bills, mental health treatment, and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from federal grants and criminal restitution fines, not taxpayer dollars.
For additional information about CalVCP and resources, visit the CalVCP website at CalVCP.ca.gov.
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, and vehicular manslaughter.
If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and matching federal funds. The program is not taxpayer funded.