Helpful Information and Websites

  • Rights of Victims of Crime

    According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 56, Rights of Crime Victims, a victim of violent crime is (1) someone who is the victim of sexual assault, kidnapping or aggravated robbery or who has suffered bodily injury or death because of the criminal conduct of another, (2) the close relative (spouse, parent, adult brother or sister, or child) of a deceased victim, or (3) the guardian of a victim. These rights also apply to victims of juvenile crime, including victims who suffer property loss.

    Victims of Crime have the right to:
    • receive adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts
    • have their safety considered by the magistrate when setting bail
    • receive information, on request, of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, of cancellations and rescheduling prior to the event, and appellate court decisions after the decisions are entered but before they are made public
    • be informed, when requested, by a peace officer about the defendant's right to bail and criminal investigation procedures, and from the prosecutor's office about general procedures in the criminal justice system, including plea agreements, restitution, appeals, and parole
    • provide pertinenet informaiton concerning the impact of hte crime to the probation department prior to sentencing
    • information about the Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund and payment for a medical examination of a victim of sexual assault, and, on request, referral to social service agencies that provide additional assistance
    • information, on request, about parole procedures; notification of parole proceedings and of the inmate's release, and the right to participate in the parole process by submitting written information to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant's file for consideration by the Board prior to parole
    • a separate or secure waiting area at all public court proceedings
    • prompt return of any property that is no longer needed as evidence
    • have the prosecutor notify, upon request, an employer that the need for the victim's testimony may involve the victim's absence from work
    • on request, the right to counseling and testing regarding AIDS and HIV infection and testing for victims of sexual assault
    • request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the Victim Services Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
    • be informed of the use and purpose of a victim impact statement, to complete a victim impact statement and to have the statement considered before sentencing and acceptance of a plea bargain and before an inmate is released on parole

    A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to be present at all public court proceedings, with the consent of the presiding judge.

    A judge, attorney for the state, peace officer, or law enforcement agency is not liable for a failure or inability to provide a right enumerated herein.

    Art.56.045 CCP States that a victim of a sexual assault has the right to the accompaniment of a victim advocate during the sexual assault exam if an advocate is available at the time of the examination.

  • Child Sexual Assault

    • Fewer than 1 in 5 sexual assaults on children are reported to law enforcement officials (20% of female and 12% of male victims).
    • Child sex abusers are often known as "pillars of the community" and "wonderful with children."
    • Most child sex offenders are known to their victims, either as a family member or close acquaintance.
    • 1 in 3 girls, 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before age 18.

    Protect Your Child:
    • Let your child know it's okay to say "no" to someone, even an adult, even a loved one, in a situation that doesn't seem right.
    • Ask your child what happened while you were away.
    • Believe your child.
    • Do not blame your child.
    • Reassure your child of your love.
    • Create an atmosphere that encourages him/her to freely discuss sexual matters with you.
    • Teach your young child how to dial your phone number.
    • Don't scare your child. Instead, teach them to be self-confident, considerate and assertive.

    Did you know?
    • You are required by law to report any suspicion of child abuse.
    • You may report anonymously.
    • You cannot be retaliated against if you report in good faith.

    Report Abuse to Local Law Enforcement
    Texas Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-5400
    Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website
    If a child or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1
    Child Abuse Resources: