Information for victims of serious crime
About the Victim Assistance Scheme (VAS)
The Victim Assistance Scheme helps victims of serious crime in New Zealand to cover some of the costs related to the crime, the justice process, and your recovery. It is administered by Victim Support on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.
Eligibility for VAS is limited to very serious sexual, violent, and fatal crimes and specific criteria apply. Talk with your Support Worker about whether you may be eligible for support under VAS.
Support for immediate costs after a crime
If you suffered damage to property, or incurred costs because your home or vehicle was inaccessible as a crime scene, you may be eligible receive a crime scene grant of up to $2000 from Victim Support. This grant can help with repairing or replacing damaged property, professional cleaning services, or temporary accommodation or vehicle rental.
If you’ve experienced a rape or sexual assault, further support may be available. See our Financial assistance for survivors of sexual violence brochure to find out more.
If you are from a sexual violence agency and wish to make a grant application on behalf of a client, please contact us on 0800 842 846 and ask to be put through to your local Victim Support co-ordinator.
If you're an individual wanting to make an application please contact a sexual violence agency in your area (a directory can be found here), or call us on 0800 842 846.
Proof of damage or costs incurred may be required. Exclusions and criteria apply.
Support if someone has died
A one-off discretionary grant of $5000 is available to assist family or whānau who have lost a loved one to a homicide with the many costs that follow a death. In some cases, this grant is also available after a death which results from another criminal act for which charges have been laid by Police.
Support for attending court and other hearings
If you’re attending court as a victim of a serious crime, Victim Support can assist you with some of the costs of participating in the justice process. The travel assistance grant provides financial support to attend court or other hearings such as restorative justice or parole. Travel and accommodation funded under this grant must be booked and paid directly by Victim Support.
In some cases, a court attendance grant may also be available. This grant provides a small daily allowance in recognition of lost earnings while attending court or other hearings.
Strict limits on total funding, daily amounts, and number of recipients apply. If you are attending court in your capacity as a witness, you are also entitled to other court attendance funding through the Victim Assistance Scheme as from 1 April 2022. Talk to the police officer in charge of your case about financial support available through the courts.
Support for counselling
Victim Support can provide funding for victims to attend counselling after a serious crime. After a homicide or death by criminal act, this support may also be available for family or whānau, friends, witnesses, and people first or present on the scene.
Counselling must be arranged by Victim Support and be through a Victim Support registered counsellor.
Support for your safety
If you are the primary victim/s of a serious crime and are in immediate danger, a serious crime emergency grant may be available to help you stay safe. This could include assistance for:
- emergency accommodation
- relocation costs
- essential home security improvements
- essential items such as food or clothing
- essential travel costs
This is a means-tested, ‘last resort’ fund and further criteria apply.
Other financial support
If you suffer an injury or someone has died as a result of a crime, you may be eligible for assistance from ACC.
Talk with your Support Worker or visit www.acc.co.nz for more information.
For more information:
Please contact your Victim Support Worker or call Victim Support on 0800 VICTIM (842 846).