Guest Column

September 24, 2012

The rights of crime victims

No one wants to be a crime victim. 

Whether the offense is committed by a relative, friend or stranger, being assaulted, abused or stolen from shakes the victim’s world.

 In many ways, it is so much worse if it is your spouse or partner who is hurting you or your child or who is stealing from you.

You want it to stop. You want the person to get help, but meet with resistance. You worry about your safety.

Holding the person accountable and preventing him or her from victimizing you or anyone else again is crucial. Although you may be reluctant to do so, calling the police may be the best thing to do.


A judge can order a defendant to get needed mental-health or substance-abuse treatment.

You may avoid the police because you do not want to see the person locked up, but sometimes jail can be a wakeup call and teach an important lesson. A short period in jail, followed by treatment and probation, could be the keys to change.


When you file a charge with the police or in Family Court, you can request an order of protection from the judge, asking either that the defendant not contact you at all or allow contact that is not abusive. The only way to get an order of protection is to bring a charge. Violating an order is a new crime.

New York has a law called Fair Treatment Standards for Crime Victims. It requires notification of many subjects, including available emergency care and counseling, compensation, court proceedings and whether the defendant is released from jail.


As the victim, you definitely have rights. One is the prompt return of stolen property that has been recovered, unless there is a compelling reason to keep it for trial.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Guest Column
  • krieg_felicia_mug.jpg Affordable doesn't mean low quality

    Drugstore products often perform just as well as their high-end counterparts, Felicia Krieg writes.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Opportunity to repair infrastructure missed

    A vibrant economy requires roads, bridges, dams and other assets that are in good condition, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ken_wibecan.jpg Remembering the Sixties

    Each Memorial Day and Labor Day in the early 1960s, about a dozen of us city-dwellers drove to Lake George, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg The right to be forgotten?

    Europe taking first steps toward securing privacy with Google and Facebook, writes columnist Stu Denenberg.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Ethical consumerism in vogue

    However, making purchasing choices that can help save the planet aren't always that simple, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg U.S. lacking leadership

    Inspiration is hard to come by as society struggles to fulfill the traditional American dream, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for quality, safety, animal welfare

    June Dairy Month is a good time to appreciate all the effort that goes into producing the very best in dairy products, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Libraries still relevant

    In the digital age, it takes innovation and creativity to assure libraries stay a vital part of the community, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Trees at risk from pests

    The Emerald Ash Borer is a major threat to ash trees locally and across North America, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Scandal an affront to America's veterans

    Those who sacrifice for their country deserve only the best treatment when they come home, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo