Being A Crime Victim
The experience of being a victim of crime is different for each person. It may involve physical injury, emotional turmoil or financial loss. This may be your first exposure to the criminal justice system. Many people unfamiliar with the criminal justice system experience frustration or intimidation because the legal proceedings are complex and not easily understood. This is often complicated by the perfectly natural fears that people have concerning their own testimony or exposure to the public.
What We Expect From You
The investigation and prosecution of a crime requires help from you. These are the things that you do to aid in the arrest and eventual prosecution of the offender:
- Report the crime as soon as possible to the Police Department by dialing 911 or 940-9396.
- Cooperate fully with BUPD and the Prosecutor’s staff through all stages of investigation, prosecution and sentencing.
- Testify as a witness for the State at the criminal trial, if you are asked to do so.
This is What You May Expect From Us
It is the policy of the State of Indiana and the Butler Police Department that victims of crime be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect. Victims of crime have a right:
- To an explanation of the criminal justice process.
- To notification if an arrest is made in their case.
- To be informed by the police department and the prosecutor’s office of their role in any proceedings.
- To be notified of court dates and of court date cancellations.
- To have stolen or personal property being held as evidence returned as soon as possible.
- To be informed of financial assistance available and assistance in filing under the Indiana Crime Victim Compensation Act.
- To be informed of the outcome or verdict in their case.
- To have information concerning the impact of the crime on their lives presented to the court at sentencing.
- To be informed of the type and length of sentence and of any impending release of the offender.
- To be referred to any local or state agencies, counselors or others appropriate in aiding them in their full recovery from the crime, or other personal issues that are a result of the crime.
Recovering From Crime
Your recovery will depend upon many things: if you suffered physical injury; the type of crime; the type of resources available to you and whether you chose to use them; whether or not you have a support system such as family or friends; and your ability to process the crime and put it into perspective.
Many people have been where you are now. You are not alone in your feelings. Some of the most common emotional reactions to crimes include:
- Fear of the crime being repeated or the offender returning
- Fear that the offender may seek retribution against you if you call the police or proceed with a prosecution
- Intrusive thoughts about the crime
- Dreams about the crime
- Shame that the offender chose you
- Guilt that you may have contributed to your vulnerability
- Mood Swings
- Feelings of abandonment
Most victims experience these emotions to a greater or lesser extent. Some people are able to recover on their own but many people need the support of friends, family or professionals to assist them through this period.
The Butler University Police Department provides support, information and referrals to victims of crime through the process of investigation, arrest, prosecution and personal recovery.
What you can expect when you call the police:
- Professional service
- Non-Judgemental attitude
- Assistance in getting medical attention
- Collection and preservation of evidence
- Legal documentation (in the form of the police report)
- Professional investigation into criminal matters
- Referral to appropriate service agencies to assist victims in their recovery
- Referral to appropriate agency/department in non-criminal matters
- Information about administrative and legal options available to the victim
The following links provide information on the Advocacy and Prevention, as well as, the Counseling and Consultation Services that are available:
Other Services Available
- Rape and sexual assault educational program
- Domestic violence educational program
- Workplace violence educational program
- Personal safety educational program
- Self-defense course referrals
- Referrals to local and state agencies