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Victim Services

Download: Victim Handbook

The Brenham Police Department's Victim Services Program exists to provide services to victims and family members with the goal of lessening the short and long-term trauma experienced as a direct result of victimization.

The Victim Services program provide crisis counseling, crisis intervention, criminal justice support and advocacy, information and referral, and notification of rights and assistance with filling Crime Victims Compensation claims.

Services

  • On site crisis intervention and follow up
  • Crisis counseling in person and by telephone
  • Information about Crime Victims' Rights and Crime Victims' Compensation, and assistance with filing claims
  • Advocacy with the criminal justice system and other agencies
  • Information and referral to community services
  • Case status information
  • Court accompaniment in some cases

The program also provides training to law enforcement officers and community groups, and serves as a consultant to other agencies on law enforcement based victim services. The Coordinator is a licensed TCLEOSE instructor.

Hours of Operation:

The Victim Services office operates from 8 a.m. to 4p.m. 4 days a week

Contact Us:

  • 979-277-7373 (Washington County Communications)
  • 979-337-7340 (Victim Service Coordinator)
  • 979-337-7342 (Fax)
  • Email: jluera@cityofbrenham.org

 

Texas Crime Victims' Rights click to expand

Rights of Crime Victims

CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

CHAPTER 56. RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS

SUBCHAPTER A. CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS

Art. 56.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Close relative of a deceased victim" means a person who was the spouse of a deceased victim at the time of the victim's death or who is a parent or adult brother, sister, or child of the deceased victim.

(2) "Guardian of a victim" means a person who is the legal guardian of the victim, whether or not the legal relationship between the guardian and victim exists because of the age of the victim or the physical or mental incompetency of the victim.

(2-a) "Sexual assault" includes an offense under Section 21.02, Penal Code.

(3) "Victim" means a person who is the victim of the offense of sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of persons, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual or who has suffered personal injury or death as a result of the criminal conduct of another.

Art. 56.02. CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS. (a) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:

(1) the right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;

(2) the right to have the magistrate take the safety of the victim or his family into consideration as an element in fixing the amount of bail for the accused;

(3) the right, if requested, to be informed:

(A) by the attorney representing the state of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed if those proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled prior to the event; and

(B) by an appellate court of decisions of the court, after the decisions are entered but before the decisions are made public;

(4) the right to be informed, when requested, by a peace officer concerning the defendant's right to bail and the procedures in criminal investigations and by the district attorney's office concerning the general procedures in the criminal justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and parole process;

(5) the right to provide pertinent information to a probation department conducting a presentencing investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and his family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner prior to any sentencing of the offender;

(6) the right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by Subchapter B, including information related to the costs that may be compensated under that subchapter and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that subchapter, the payment for a medical examination under Article 56.06 for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, to referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;

(7) the right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole proceedings concerning a defendant in the victim's case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant's file information to be considered by the board prior to the parole of any defendant convicted of any crime subject to this subchapter, and to be notified, if requested, of the defendant's release;

(8) the right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the offender and relatives of the offender, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim's contact with the offender and the offender's relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings;

(9) the right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for that purpose;

(10) the right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;

(11) the right to counseling, on request, regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and testing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable causative agent of AIDS, if the offense is an offense under Section 21.02, 21.11(a)(1), 22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code;

(12) the right to request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the victim services division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;

(13) the right to be informed of the uses of a victim impact statement and the statement's purpose in the criminal justice system, to complete the victim impact statement, and to have the victim impact statement considered:

(A) by the attorney representing the state and the judge before sentencing or before a plea bargain agreement is accepted; and
(B) by the Board of Pardons and Paroles before an inmate is released on parole;

(14) to the extent provided by Articles 56.06 and 56.065, for a victim of a sexual assault, the right to a forensic medical examination if, within 96 hours of the sexual assault, the assault is reported to a law enforcement agency or a forensic medical examination is otherwise conducted at a health care facility; and

(15) for a victim of an assault or sexual assault who is younger than 17 years of age or whose case involves family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code, the right to have the court consider the impact on the victim of a continuance requested by the defendant; if requested by the attorney representing the state or by counsel for the defendant, the court shall state on the record the reason for granting or denying the continuance.

(b) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in the case.

Crime Victims' Compensation click to expand

Code of Criminal Procedure, Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Act, Chapter 56, Subchapter B

Purpose: To compensate residents of the United States who suffer personal injury or death as the result of a violent crime, including DWI, Failure to Stop and Render Aid, and certain other vehicular crimes.

Administered by: The Office of the Attorney General, Crime Victims' Compensation Division, Austin, Texas.

Crime Victims' Compensation may be available to pay the amount of expense reasonably and necessarily incurred for:

(i) Medical, counseling, prescription and rehabilitative services;

(ii) Partial loss of earnings because of a disability resulting from personal injury, participation in the criminal justice process, or seeking medical treatment;

(iii) Child care for minor children to enable a victim or spouse of a deceased victim to continue employment;

(iv) Certain funeral and burial expenses;

(v) Reasonable costs associated with crime scene cleanup;

(vi) Reasonable replacement costs for clothing or bedding taken as evidence or made unusable as a result of the criminal investigation of a sexual assault;

(vii) Travel expenses necessary to participate in the criminal justice process and/or seek medical treatment;

(vii) One-time payment of certain relocation expenses in domestic violence and sexual assault

Reimbursement for property damage or loss is not an eligible expense.

In order to qualify for Crime Victims' Compensation:

  1. The crime must be reported to law enforcement within a reasonable amount of time unless there are justified extraordinary circumstances.
  2. Claim must be filed within three years unless good cause can be shown as to why the claim wasn't filed.
  3. The victim must cooperate with law enforcement and prosecution efforts.
  4. The victim must be the innocent victim of a violent crime who suffers personal injury.

The Victim Services Program of the Brenham Police Department will assist you in applying for benefits from Crime Victims' Compensation. Upon request, we will provide you with the claim form, will send the claim form and required documentation to CVC, and notify service providers that a claim has been applied for and is pending. Please allow us assist you in obtaining these benefits if you feel you may qualify.

For more information on Crime Victims' Compensation, http://www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/about_comp.shtml.

The Texas Office of the Attorney General's Crime Victims' Compensation Division phone number is 1-800-983-9933

Helpful Numbers click to expand

Local Resource List

Some of the local agencies that provide services to victims:

Washington County Domestic Violence Advocates 979.251.7171
Phoebe's Home (24 hour Hotline) 979.775.5355
Brazos County Rape Crisis 979.731.1000
Brazos Valley Women's Center 979.776.5602
Faith Mission and Help Center 979.830.1488
MHMR 605 East Blue Bell Road, Brenham 979.830.0008
Lone Star Legal Aid, Bryan, Texas 979.775.5050
County Attorney, Protective Order Unit 979.277.6200
Mothers Against Drunk Driving 979.823.7008
CASA For Kids 979.277.0088
  • Crime Scene Cleanup: Victim Services Personnel can assist you with referrals

Texas Resources

Texas Crime Victims' Clearinghouse 800.252.3423
Family Violence Legal Line 800.374.HOPE
General Legal Line 800.777.FAIR
Texas Youth Hotline 800.210.2278
Crime Victims' Compensation 800.983.9933

 

Family Violence click to expand

Family Violence affects not only the victim and the abuser, it affects the children, friends and family, and our community.

Abuse can be physical (pushing, slapping, grabbing, hitting, kicking, choking, cutting, burning, dragging, shooting, stabbing, murder).

Abuse can be sexual (demeaning remarks about your gender, accusations of being unfaithful, unwanted touching, forced sex)

Abuse can be emotional (criticism, name calling, shouting, making all the decisions for you, humiliating and ridiculing you in public, lying and manipulation).

Many forms of abuse are a violation of Texas Law.

Without intervention, abuse tends to become more frequent and more severe over time. Approximately 33% of all women who are murdered in the United States are murdered by an intimate partner or former partner. In one study, homicide was found to be the leading cause of death of women during pregnancy, even more frequently than medical complications. Some of the risk factors associated with escalation to serious injury or homicide in family violence cases include:

  • Access to firearms/weapons
  • History of use of weapons
  • Threats of use of weapons
  • Threats of Homicide
  • Threats of Suicide
  • History of violence in relationships
  • History of serious injury
  • Recent increase in severity or frequency of violence
  • Choking/Strangulation
  • Public violence
  • Violence associated with drug or alcohol use
  • Violence associated with the victim leaving or attempting to leave
  • Violence toward children
  • Violence toward pets
  • Obsessive jealousy or possessiveness/sense of ownership
  • Isolation/extreme dependency on the partner/victim
  • Forced sex/use of pornography
  • Previous police involvement/repeat calls for service

If you feel afraid:

  • Trust your instincts!
  • Have a Safety Plan.
  • Know where to get help.
  • A Protective Order may be helpful as well.