Crime Victim Help: Crime Victim Complaints. The Victims Charter in South Africa is for anyone who is a Victim of Crime. When seeking help, it’s your right to have your dignity protected whether it’s at a police station or hospital. Know your rights and duties so that you can take action when you are unhappy with the services received.
Crime Victim Help: Understanding the Victims’ Charter
What is the Victims’ Charter?
The Victims’ Charter: Ensuring Fairness and Justice for All
The Victims’ Charter is a special set of rules created by the government. Therefore it tries to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and has the help they need. These rules are also in line with the government’s big plan to support human rights, which means treating everyone with respect and fairness.
How It All Began: Crime Victim Help
The Story Behind the Victims’ Charter
The Victims’ Charter was created by a team led by the Gender Directorate in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ & CD). They worked together with other important groups like the Departments of Social Development, Correctional Services, Education, and Health. Also, the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Police Service, and many other organizations joined hands to make this happen.
Connecting to Our Laws: Crime Victim Help
The Victims’ Charter and Our Laws
The Victims’ Charter isn’t just a set of rules on its own. It follows the laws of South Africa, like the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 and even international agreements, such as the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice. This way, it covers all the bases and makes sure everyone is treated fairly.
Bringing Rights to Life: Crime Victim Help
The Rights You Have
As a person affected by a crime, you have special rights protected by the Victims’ Charter. For example, these rights say that you should be treated with kindness and respect. You should also get the information you need, stay safe, and get help when you need it. When something bad happens, you might also get some financial help for things to be made right.
Parliament’s Important Role
How the Government Provides Crime Victim Help
The government’s big boss, Parliament, gave the thumbs up to the Victims’ Charter. They said, “Yes, this is important!” This means that the rules in the Victims’ Charter are officially supported by the highest powers in the land.
Remember, these rules are here to make sure you and everyone else are safe and treated fairly.
Understanding Victims’ Rights: Crime Victim Help
What Makes Someone a Victim
A victim is a person who has suffered harm in different ways. This harm can result from physical or mental injuries, feeling very upset, losing money, or having their basic rights taken away. It happens when someone does something against the law.
Who Counts as a Victim
- A victim isn’t just the person who was directly hurt. It can also include their immediate family or people who depend on them. It doesn’t matter if the person who did it is caught, punished, or if they’re related to the victim.
- Someone who has been harmed by another person is a victim of a crime. This harm can show up in many ways, like physical or mental injuries, feeling really upset, losing money, or having their basic rights taken away. This happens when someone does something against the law.
Rights Every Victim Has: The Victims Charter
Everyone Deserves Fairness
If something bad happens to you, like a robbery, assault, or other crimes, people see you as a victim. Your gender, age, or relationship to the person who did it does not matter. This applies to women, men, children, young people, and older individuals alike.
Teaching and Helping
All the departments that follow the Victims’ Charter have to make special plans to teach groups who might need extra help about their rights as victims. for example older people, people with disabilities, those without a home, women and men in tough situations, people who identify as gay or lesbian, refugees, immigrants, people in rural areas, and any other groups who might not have as much support.
Treating Everyone Fairly: The Victims Charter
No Discrimination Allowed
All departments also have to make sure they offer the right help and not treat people unfairly because of their race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, where they’re from, the color of their skin, who they love, how old they are, if they have a disability, their religion, what they believe, their culture, the language they speak, or where they were born.
Your Rights Matter: Crime Victim Help
As a victim, whether it happened directly to you or someone close to you, you have seven rights that are in the Victims’ Charter. This means that others should treat you with fairness and respect, provide you with the information you need, ensure your safety, offer assistance, provide compensation if necessary, and try to make things right if possible.
If you have been a victim of crime, victims’ rights, as contained in the Constitution and relevant legislation, will be upheld when you come in contact with:
- clerks of the court;
- parole officers;
- doctors, nurses; and
- social workers.
Crime Victim Help: Make Complaints About Bad Services
If you’re dissatisfied with how the police, prosecutors, magistrates, court clerks, social workers, doctors, nurses, or parole officers (people who work in Correctional Services) are treating you, then you have the right to file a complaint. Furthermore, you can directly communicate your concerns with the relevant government department. They are then obligated to listen and take steps to improve your situation.
1. Crime Victim Complaints against magistrates, prosecutors and clerks of the court: Crime Victim Help
- Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Tel: (012) 315 1111 • Fax: (012) 326 0991
Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001
- Judicial Service Commission
Tel: (051) 447 2769 • Fax: (012) 447 0836
PO Box 258, Bloemfontein, 9300
- Magistrates Commission
Tel: (012) 325 3951 •Fax: (012) 325 3957
PO Box 9096, Pretoria, 0001
- National Prosecuting Authority
Tel: (012) 845 6000 • Fax: (012) 845 7311
Private Bag X752, Pretoria, 0001
2. Crime Victim Complaints against police: Crime Victim Help
- The South African Police Service
Tel: 012 339 1000 • Fax: 012 339 1530
Private Bag X94, Pretoria, 0001
- The Independent Complaints Directorate
Tel : 012 320 0431 • Fax : 012 320 3116
Private Bag X 941, Pretoria, 0001
3. Crime Victim Complaints against doctors and nurses:
- Health Profession Council of South Africa
Tel: 012 338 9300/01 • Fax: 012 328 5120