ALRAID

ALL-UKRAINIAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL ORGANISATIONS

“I Became A Crime Victim. What Shall I Do?”

01.04.2014 / 827

It’s often impossible to avoid meeting the plotter(-s) face-to-face. What would one do if they did become the crime victim, and what one must definitely avoid doing?

What if someone attacked you

The first thing you have to do is to overcome your pain and your natural sense of shame and try to get to some place where there are people and where the telephone works.

Call the police (it’s better that you dial 102 even if you know the direct numer of your neighbourhood police inspector, as calls to 102 are recorded and registered) and tell what happened: your personal data along with time and place of the attack, description of the criminals. Call the ambulance (103) even if you didn’t get injured or don’t feel pain after being injured.

Even if you’re injured, try not to postpone meeting the police officers if possible. Remember that the time is precious in situations like those! A rule of thumb states that most of such crimes are investigated in hot pursuit.

Try (if you can) to stay either at crime scene of at the same place from where you called the police. It’s better that some of your relatives, a close friend of a lawyer arrive at the crime scene immediately, as the victims (especially when injured) can be in shock and inadequate, forget something important, etc. Presence of the “support team” will also restrain the police officers from wrongful acts or don't-care attitude. Besides, psychological support helps overcome discomfort, shame and fear when describing the details (especially intimate details) of the incident that could help the trial. Please remember that there are enough of female police officers in the staff, and the rape victim can demand being questioned by a woman.

After the police arrive, it’s necessary to remember what the criminals looked like as much as possible, namely stature, complexion, body peculiarities. While describing the face, please indicate the impression it made (i.e. tired, swollen or vice versa - prepossessing and sympathetic). It’s better that you describe only one parameter of the eye color - dark of light. Finish the criminal’s portrait by describing his clothes, style, footwear,etc.

Give descriptions of the valuables stolen, as concrete as possible, indicate their value (approximate at least), remember all the peculiarities (scratches, attritions, unique case, etc.)

It’s essential that you write down the title of police department and surnames of the officers that arrived after your call, and also the title of ambulance station and the surname of the ambulance doctor.

Make sure that the doctor indicates all the injuries and health disorders caused by the attack and provide the police with necessary medical documents (don’t forget to keep the copies just in case).

What you must do within a week

You (if the health condition allows), your lawyer of your close ones must:

Check if the the criminal case was opened. The police officer has three days for checking the oral or written application, and this term can be prolonged only in case of urgence. In case your application for opening a criminal case is rejected, you have the right to see all the materials of the checking and also to appeal the rejection in the court at the district of the body that did the checking.

You must write a claim for the interrogating officer (detective) on recognizing you as a victim of the crime. You can exercise the victim’s rights fully only after the detective issued the respective decree. It bears reminding that the victim has duties as well.

It there is property damaged, one needs to put a valuation on it (this can affect the crime qualification). If you have property losses or aggravation, you have the right for compensation and you need to file a civil suit in criminal trial. For that purpose you need to approach your detective with a request on recognizing you as a civil plaintiff and file the civil case. Is the property was stolen (cellphone, for instance), you need to provide the documents indicating its price or to approach a store selling similar goods in order to  to put a valuation on things stolen.

When determining the aggravation you need to give an outlook of your physical and mental suffering. Approach a psychologist and tell them about your misfortune. Here, at the specialist’s office, you don’t need to be afraid to take out your emotions upon the situation you’ve been through, tell them about your feelings, doubts and fears. Psychological and psychotherapeutic advice will give you a possibility to receive preventive and clinical assistance in case of neurosis and posttraumatic stress disorder

What you mustn’t do by no means

Try to act as if nothing happened. It won’t make things easier if you do. You have to understand that the person, remaining unpunished, will continue their criminal behaviour, and there’s no guarantee that someone close to you won’t be the next victim.

Withdraw the complaint. Relatives of the suspect or other people often ask the victim to withdraw the complaint for money or other goods.

Be afraid of the threats and believe the promises of material consideration without the law-enforcement structures involved. You must know that mediation by the parties is only possible if the person committed a crime for the first time, if this is a minor offence or a crime of average gravity committed without intention. Remember that mediation by the parties is their right but not an obligation of neither the parties, nor the detective, nor the court of law. No one has right to put pressure upon the victim in order to convert them to mediation.

    

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