Our May program spotlight features: Legal Services for Crime Victims in Arizona!
About LSCVA: Throughout history victims of crime have alternately been treated unfairly, overlooked, excluded, and considered to be merely another piece of evidence in a criminal trial. Recognizing these injustices, in 1990 Arizona became one of the first states to write protections for victims into the State Constitution. Yet, injustices for crime victims remain all too common today as the legal community struggles to balance the rights of victims, the rights of the defendant and the interests of the State. Victims’ rights violations can occur by any of the actors in the criminal justice system—the prosecutor, the court, the defendant—and at any time in the criminal justice process, even before the case is scheduled for its first hearing. The only way to be certain that a victim’s rights are properly asserted and enforced is if the victim has legal representation of his or her own. Additionally, victims are often left without assistance or resources when faced with contested protective order proceedings and other matters collateral to the crime. Victims are expected to navigate complex legal systems on their own while trying to heal from the trauma of the crime and address the financial, physical, emotional and spiritual effects of the crime. This can be extremely overwhelming for crime victims. Legal Services for Crime Victims in Arizona (LSCVA) is here to help and has designed its programs to form comprehensive, holistic services to advance victim healing, autonomy and stabilization in the aftermath of crime.