Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there is no requirement that you report to police to obtain our services.
Your immigration status does not prevent you from receiving our services.
Our direct services are located in Island, King, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties in Washington State. If you live outside of our service area we can make a referral to an appropriate agency in your area. You can also use the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Connect Directory to locate assistance in your area.
We refer victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to local agencies that specialize in this service.
We utilize the AT&T Language line for callers who speak a language other than English. If you are meeting with an advocate in person and need an interpreter, one will be provided to you.
The Crime Victim Compensation Program through Washington State Department of Labor and Industries can help victims of crime with medical bills and funeral expenses. An advocate can help you determine if you qualify for this or other programs, and can help you with the application process.
You have the right to attend every court hearing where the defendant is present, but it is not necessary that you do so. If you are a witness to the crime the prosecutor’s office may ask you to testify if the case goes to trial. Advocates can provide court support with you or on your behalf and take notes for you. It is a very personal decision of how much, when and if you would like to go to court.
An advocate from VSS will make every attempt to attend the court hearings on your behalf. If the advocate is unavailable, communication with the Victim/Witness Advocate at the Prosecutors office can supply you with the information on what was discussed at the court hearing.
A Victim Impact Statement is a written or oral statement presented to the court at the defendant’s sentencing. Victims or survivors have a legal right to inform the judge about how the crime has affected their lives and can ask that a defendant receive a particular sentence.
An advocate can facilitate your interactions with the media, or help you request privacy if you wish. It is important to first speak with the law enforcement agency that is investigating the crime so that what you report does not compromise the investigation.
You may search for an offender and sign up for victim notification services through WA SAVIN/VineLink which is a free and confidential service. You can sign up to be notified by phone or email.