Victims of Violent Crime Have Financial Options


ROCKFORD--This is most common response when you see all the options available for victims of violent crime.

"'Gee I didn't know that,' it's a situation in which we need to do a better job of promoting these type of programs."

Senator Steve Stadelman says victims of violent crime can feel isolated.

"People tend to think that when you're a victim of crime, they have to go it alone," Stadelman said. "But there are opportunities to help people rebuild and get back on their feet."

Many of the programs were laid out in a community meeting in downtown Rockford Monday night. The Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act provides victims up to $27,000 in financial assistance in a variety of forms from covering hospital visits to funeral expenses or even lost wages at work. Victims have to apply in the immediate aftermath and Cynthia Nora from the Illinois Attorney General's office understands that it can be chaotic in the days after an incident.

"A lot of people aren't aware of our program," Nora said. "The police are required to tell victims of violent crimes about it. But sometimes when a victim is, right at the time of a violent crime, they may not read all the material that the police give them."

Some people onhand weren't victims, just looking to help people in the neighborhood.

"Actually they didn't know where to go get help," Toy Collins said. "Today I will be able to provide some information to where they can get help."

Information can be a powerful tool when it comes to empowering yourself.

"There are options out there," Stadelman said. " People just aren't aware of and they need to be aware of."

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