To help inform more residents about compensation that may be available to victims of certain crimes in New Jersey, Assemblywomen Angela McKnight and Shanique Speight sponsor a bill requiring signage and pamphlets about the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) in emergency rooms.
The purpose of the VCCO is to provide financial compensation to people who are physically, psychologically or personally harmed as a result of assault, kidnapping, abuse or other violent crimes. Families may also be able to apply for compensation in the event of the victim’s death.
Under the bill (A-1752), signs would be posted and pamphlets distributed in emergency rooms with information about the services and benefits offered by the VCCO, the procedures for filing a victim’s compensation claim, and contact information for the office.
Assembly sponsors McKnight (D-Hudson) and Speight (D-Essex) issued the following joint statement upon the measure being advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee:
“Victims of a violent crime must know they may be eligible for financial assistance from the State for lost wages, funeral expenses, child care, counseling and medical services associated with the crime. A hospital is often one of the first places a person will go in order to receive care, which makes it the ideal place to raise awareness about New Jersey’s Victims of Crime Compensation Office. Posting signage and handing out pamphlets in emergency rooms will help inform more residents about how to get the support they need. This is a key component to stemming the cycle of violence for them, their families and our communities.”
The legislation now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.