LUBBOCK, Texas – As part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, local organizations are wanting people to be aware of the resources and rights that victims of crimes have.
“There’s a lot of agencies that are there to help victims depending on what type of crime,” said Pam Alexander-Schneider, Executive Director at Lubbock Victim Assistance Services, Inc.
Alexander-Schneider said a lot of times, organizations will also provide advocates to be with victims of crimes every step of the way.
“When someone has been the victim of a crime, [people] are surrounded by friends and families and then then after a certain time, friends and families go back to their normal life,” said Alexander-Schneider, “It’s nice to have someone there that can tell you what is going on. They can give you a road map and say this is point A to B and B to C.”
Laney Dickey, Victims Assistance Coordinator at the Lubbock District Attorney’s Office, said amid the pandemic, she saw a rise in domestic violence cases among family members.
Dickey said the best, and at times difficult, thing to do is report a crime immediately.
“It’s not going to stop until you do something about it and the sooner you report it, the better off you are. The more access you’ll have to help in changing that situation,” said Dickey.
In addition to resources available to victims of crimes, Dickey and Alexander-Schneider said people who are victims of crimes have rights.
“You have the right to receive adequate protection from law enforcement from harm or threat of harm, the right to know if your offender has bailed out of jail,” said Alexander-Schneider. “You have the right to be informed about all the court proceedings, you have the right to be safe at the proceedings.”
For a list of victims’ rights from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice click here.
For more information on resources if you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, click here.