Your rights as a victim

Victims of crime in Aotearoa New Zealand can expect to be treated fairly and respectfully, and that your rights to express your views, and to get support and information are being met.

Woman representing a victim of crime in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Victims Code 2015

The Victims Code has three parts that set out how you can expect to be treated when you are a victim of crime and what to do if you think your rights are not being met.

Part 1 : How providers are expected to treat victims

There are key principles that guide how you should be treated by a person, organisation, or government agency that provides services to victims. These principals include respecting your cultural beliefs, putting your safety first, and treating you with dignity and respect.

Part 2 : Victims’ rights in the criminal and youth justice systems

Your rights in the criminal justice system and the youth justice system include your right to make a Victim Impact Statement, express your views, and to be provided with information about the investigation and criminal proceedings in your case.

Part 3 : What can I do if I think my rights are not being met?

You can make a complaint to the Victims' Centre if you believe your rights as a victim are not being met. Information on the procedure can be found in the full Victims Code.

Find more information on the rights and principles in the Victims Code, victims' place within the justice system, and government responsibilities to victims on the Chief Victims Advisor to Government website.

The Victims’ Rights Act 2002

The Victims' Rights Act sets out entitlements for victims of crime and their family or whānau members and outlines the obligations of any person or agency who deals with a victim (e.g. a support worker, court staff, a member of the New Zealand Parole Board, the Police).

Under the Victims’ Rights Act 2002, a victim of crime is anyone who has:

•  had a crime committed against them, or
•  suffered physical harm because of a crime committed by someone, or
•  had property taken or damaged because of a crime committed by someone.

A victim of crime is also:
•  a parent or legal guardian of a victim who is a child or young person, as long as the parent or legal guardian has not been charged with the crime, or
•  the immediate family members of someone who dies, orcan no longer take care of       themselves, because of a crime committed by someone.

Your rights as a victim include:

  • being treated with courtesy and compassion.
  • having your dignity and privacy respected.
  • being kept informed and assisted.
  • having access to services that meet any health, welfare, counselling, medical, or legal needs that you might have as a result of the crime.
  • having the right to make your views known at certain points during the justice process.
  • having a support person alongside you.