Your Rights and Duties as a Crime Victim in South Africa. The Victims Charter is a special list of rules that helps people who have been harmed. A set of very important rules called the Minimum Service Standard says what different parts of the government, like the police, should do to help when someone has been hurt.
YOUR RIGHTS AS A CRIME VICTIM
In South Africa, special services are provided to crime victims. These services uphold your rights as outlined in the Victims Charter. Additionally, they implement a Minimum Service Standard for Victims of Crime.
The Victims’ Charter lists 7 Rights:
- Authorities must treat you with fairness and with respect for your dignity and privacy.
- The right to offer information.
- And the right to receive information.
- The right to protection.
- Also the right to assistance.
- The right to compensation.
- Finally, the right to restitution.
Your Rights and Duties as a Crime Victim
Authorities must treat you with fairness and show respect for your dignity and privacy.
- This means that if someone is hurt, others should treat them with kindness and in a way that makes them feel valued. They should also ensure the safety of their private information.
- Inform the police about yourself and any of your special needs, so that your right to dignity can be upheld.
The Right to Offer Information: Crime Victim
- If you know something about what happened, then tell the people who are trying to help.
- If you cannot read or write, inform the police and prosecutor.
- Also, let the prosecutor know how the crime affected you and your family. Provide the police and prosecutor with correct information like your address and contact details, and any other information when they ask for it.
- If you need time off work to attend court proceedings, also let the prosecutor know.
The Right to Receive Information: Crime Victim
- You should be told what’s going on, like what might happen next and how you can get help.
- When you don’t receive any information, make sure to ask.
- Also act on the information you receive. For example, arrive on time if you’re required to attend court.
The Right to Protection: Crime Victim
- You should feel safe and be kept away from any more harm.
- If the accused or anyone else related to the accused threatens you, report it to the police and prosecutor. If required, you can then participate in the Witness Protection Programme.
- You can also ask Correctional Services to keep you updated if the accused escapes custody or is transferred.
The right to assistance: Crime Victim
- This means they should get help and support to feel better and recover from what happened.
- Be helpful to all service providers when they require cooperation with the case.
- Follow the procedure as provided by all service providers – report crimes, provide information, and report on time to court.
- Do not obstruct the police and prosecutor in carrying out their duties.
The right to compensation: Crime Victim
- If there are costs because of what happened, like for medicine or counseling, someone should help you pay for it.
- Inform the prosecutor about loss or damage to your property, or injuries you may have sustained as a result of the crime.
- Follow up with the prosecutor about any claims made for compensation.
- Return any money already paid if you do not want the compensation award.
The right to restitution: Crime Victim
- This means if they lost something, like money or things, because of what happened, they should get it back.
- Inform the police and prosecutor about property that the accused has taken from you.
- Submit a request to the prosecutor that your property should be returned to you, in the condition as it was before the crime.
These are like special rules to make sure that people who have been hurt are taken care of and treated fairly. It’s important because everyone deserves to be safe and get help when they need it.