Last updated 12 September 2018
The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 (Qld) (VOCA Act) provides victims of an act of violence with access to recovery-focused financial assistance. Under this scheme, which is administered by Victim Assist Queensland (VAQ), eligible victims can claim for the payment or reimbursement of the costs of goods and services they require to recover from the physical and psychological effects of an act of violence. In addition to financial assistance, VAQ provides a central point of coordination for victims through referral to specialist support services including court support.
The purposes of the VOCA Act are to (s 3(1) VOCA Act):
- declare a charter of rights for victims
- provide a mechanism for implementing the rights and processes for making complaints about conduct inconsistent with the rights
- provide a scheme to give financial assistance to certain victims of acts of violence.
The objectives of this financial assistance scheme are (s 3(2) VOCA Act):
- to help victims of acts of violence to recover from the acts by giving them financial assistance
- for primary victims, to give the victims amounts representing a symbolic expression by the state of the community’s recognition of the injuries suffered by them
- for related victims who have suffered distress, to give the victims amounts representing a symbolic expression by the state of the community’s recognition of the distress suffered by them
- to add to other services provided by government to victims of acts of violence.
The grants of financial assistance to victims of acts of violence under the scheme are not intended to reflect the level of compensation to which victims of acts of violence may be entitled at common law or otherwise (s 3(3) VOCA Act).
The VOCA Act is administered by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General through VAQ.