Victim / Witness Assistance Program

A Message from Coordinator Sarah Utter

Ontario County has joined New York State in becoming a leader in protecting the rights of crime victims. Since 1967, the New York State Crime Victims Board has been compensating innocent victims for their losses.

In 1981, the board began funding programs to specifically address the unique needs of survivors of crime. The Ontario County District Attorney’s Office Victim / Witness Assistance Program was established in 1992 to ease the trauma caused by victimization.

Protecting the Victim & Society

Victims of crime suffer a multitude of losses, including but not limited to physical injury, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. Not only does the primary victim suffer these losses – so does society when the victim is unable to return as a productive, contributing member of the community.

The criminal justice system, by nature of our Constitution, focuses on the rights, needs, and rehabilitation of the offender. Since the establishment of the Victims of Crime Act, sweeping changes have taken place in our laws which have begun to balance the scales of justice. Victims now have many rights afforded to them as their case proceeds through the courts.

Making Strides

Lastly, though we have made great strides in our community with regards to the rights of victims, we still have a long way to go. Education of our future leaders is the key. Our staff participates in many community and statewide coalitions to effect that change.

Should you be forced to suffer a loss resulting from crime, please contact our office for assistance.