Victim Rights

As a crime victim or witness you have rights!

  1. You have the right to receive information about basic services, including your eligibility to receive  financial assistance.
  2. You have the right to provide input into the sentencing and post-sentencing decisions as well as on the offender’s release, parole, community treatment, work release, etc.
  3. If the abuser named in the Protection From Abuse (PFA) order is jailed for either a violation of the order or for a personal injury crime against a victim protected by the order, then you have the right to receive immediate notice of his or her release on bail.
  4. You have the right to know the details of the final outcome of your case.
  5. You have the right to be accompanied to all criminal court proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate, or a support person.
  6. You have the right to be informed about the offender’s status, including bail, escape, release, and arrest.
  7. You have the right to receive help in preparing an oral and/or written victim impact statement.

The following information provides general information on your rights as a crime victim and services available to assist you through the aftermath of the crime. A victim advocate is available to help you know and understand your rights, connect you to available services such as counseling, and assist you in applying for financial assistance with medical bills and other expenses. Because your case may involve interaction with many state and local agencies, an advocate will provide you with support and guidance as well as help you understand the legal system and what happens next in the process.

Victims Compensation Assistance Program

You may be eligible to receive financial help with expenses directly related to the crime (e.g., medical and counseling expenses, loss of earnings, loss of support, stolen cash, relocation, funeral or crime scene clean up). 

Offender Release Notification

You can register to receive free, automatic, confidential notifications regarding your offender while he/she is under the supervision of county jails, state prisons, or state parole. To learn more and to register, call 1-866-9PA-SAVIN (1-866-972-7284).

Court Notifications

If the crime in which you were a victim is being prosecuted by the district attorney’s office and you would like to be notified as the case moves through the system, please inform your advocate.

Address Confidentiality Program

You may be eligible for enrollment in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) if you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. For more information about ACP, contact your local victim service program or call the ACP at 1-800-563-6399.

Important Referral Services

Victim/Witness Assistance

For victims of crimes committed by an adult offender (age 18 and over), this office can provide you with information on your rights and how they can help you.

Juvenile Court Victim/Witness Assistance

This agency can provide you information on victims’ rights and services when the offender is under age 18 in the juvenile justice system and community.

District Attorney's Office of Victim Services

Domestic Violence

In addition to counseling, legal and medical advocacy, emergency shelter, and safety planning, this organization can help you file a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. A PFA is a court order issued by a judge that can help provide protection to you and your children from an abusive person. Because filing a PFA can be different in each county, it is important for you to contact your local organization cited here. A hotline service is also available 24/7.

Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA
724-223-9190 (HOTLINE)

A Protection From Intimidation Order 

Protection From Intimidation Order can be requested for minors (children younger than age 18) to protect them from harassment and stalking by an offender who is age 18 or older. Because filing for a Protection From Intimidation Order can be different in each county, it is important for you to contact the organization cited here for information on how to file for this order.

Sexual Assault

Rape crisis centers provide 24-hour crisis hotlines, counseling, legal and medical advocacy, and accompaniment to the hospital, police, and court proceedings for victims of sexual violence and their significant others. All services are free, confidential, and available to adults, teens, and children of all genders. Your local sexual assault agency cited here can help you file a Sexual Violence Protection Orders (SVPO) if you have been a victim of sexual violence that was committed by someone who is not a family member or intimate partner.

724-228-7208 (HOTLINE)


This agency can provide you counseling, support, information, and referral services for victims of DUI crashes and their families.


Child Abuse 

This agency can provide you counseling, information, and referral services for abused and neglected children and their families.

Washington County Children & Youth Services


Elder Abuse

This agency can provide you counseling, shelter, and protective services for older victims and their families.

Southwestern Area Agency on Aging