Crime Victims Need ‘Civil Justice’ as Much as Defendants

Victims of crime need legal assistance with public benefits, family court issues, immigration issues, employment law issues and other civil issues, but despite having the right to an attorney under Marsy’s Law, they typically cannot afford one.

Op-Ed (California)

Michelle Hanisee
Crime Report
September 19, 2019

Tags: Crime Victims


Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking are often in need of career training and personal empowerment classes to break the cycles of victimization. They need legal assistance to obtain housing when they have low credit scores or no credit history at all. Rape and assault victims may need self-defense and safety classes. Finally, a court restitution order is worth the paper it is printed on without a mechanism to enforce that order.

The Board of Supervisors should revise their motion to also include the creation and funding for a Civil Justice Unit for crime victims.

This unit would be able to identify the civil justice needs of the substantial population of crime victims in the County of Los Angeles, many of who are indigent, and ensure that these crime victims are as valued by the Board of Supervisors as the criminal defendants who victimized them.