Crime Victims' Guidebook

For Those Who Have Lost Their Loved Ones to Violence

By Rose Preston

In 2003, Rose Preston's husband and mother-in-law were brutally murdered. The Crime Victims Guidebook is a product of her experience, a resource for victims' families as well as victims of crime. Rose has kindly made this book available for download in PDF format.

Here's what Rose has to say about this book:

[quote]This guidebook is the outcome of my experience. Especially in those initial days and weeks, everything was so overwhelming. There was so much I had to deal with that I couldn’t have imagined. I found it hard to remember information. Cloaked in a depression that felt bottomless, I had no energy. At the same time, I was seething with rage and a desire for justice. Pursuing justice, I was to find out, was a long and drawn-out business. It took time, but I started to piece together how the police and court system worked. I slowly found out about various resources, including things that helped to relieve some pressure of this heartbreaking pain. [/quote]

You can download the Crime Victims Guidebook here.

While most immediately designed to be a resource for those who have lost someone to violence, the Guidebook also contains useful information for those who have been victims of rape, sexual assault, theft and burglary, aggravated assault and hate crimes and while the guidebook focuses on legal proceedings and resources in New Orleans, much of it will be relevant no matter where you live.

If you have lost someone to violence, we hope this book will be of use to you.

If you know someone who has recently lost someone to violence, please download this book and print it out for them.

[learn_more caption="What's in the Guidebook? Click to see the table of contents."]

SECTION 1: Immediate Concerns

IMMEDIATE MATTERS

  • Stay somewhere safe
  • Get a support system going
  • Keep a notebook
  • Take time off from work
  • Identifying the body/autopsy
  • Funeral arrangements
  • Crime scene cleanup
  • Emergency award
  • Legal matters
  • Relating to the media

ROLE OF THE POLICE

  • Investigation
  • Detective contact
  • Item card/brochure
  • Gathering evidence
  • Arrest warrant• First appearance in court
  • Involvement of the District Attorney
  • Police report
  • Unsolved cases

INITIAL VICTIM SERVICES

  • Crime Victim Assistance (NOPD)
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (D.A.)
  • Chaplains (NOPD and D.A.)
  • LAVNS

CRIME VICTIMS REPARATIONS

  • Eligibility
  • Qualifying expenses

LEGAL MATTERS

  • Wills
  • Death certificates
  • Loans
  • Financial institutions
  • Safe deposit box
  • Monitoring the3mail
  • Beneficiaries
  • IRS
  • Social Security
  • Credit card companies
  • Life insurance
  • Medicare
  • Real estate
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Automobile
  • Automobile insurance

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

  • Physical symptoms
  • Emotional symptoms
  • Values and beliefs
  • Some helpful tools
  • Grief groups and counseling
  • Dealing with family and friends• Going back to work
  • Dealing with special events• Signs and mystical connections
  • Avoiding major Decisions

HELPING CHILDREN COPE

  • How children react to trauma
  • Family routines
  • Special needs
  • Talking about what happened

A SECTION FOR FRIENDS TO READ

  • Helping your friend in mourning
  • What to say and avoid

INSERT: FLOWCHART OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS

 

SECTION 2: Longer-Term Considerations

ROLE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND COURTS

  • District Attorney
  • A.D.A.s and Victim Witness Counselors

ORDER OF COURT PROCEEDINGS

  • Law enforcement and arrest
  • The beginning of prosecution
  • Grand jury
  • Bill of information
  • Arraignment in criminal district court
  • Felony definitions
  • Bail
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Pretrial proceedings
  • Plea bargain
  • Types of trials
  • Steps in a jury trial
  • Bench trial
  • Pre-sentence investigation and report
  • Sentencing hearing
  • Victim impact statement
  • Appeals
  • Other Considerations

COURTROOM TIPS

DEFENSE INITIATED VICTIM OUTREACH (DIVO)

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

FURTHER EMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Adjusting to a “new normal”
  • A few more helpful tools

RIGHTS OF VICTIMS

LOUISIANA VICTIMS BILL OF RIGHTS

GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERM

RESOURCES

 

You can download the Crime Victims Guidebook here.