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Awards a good start, but crime victims neglected - Kerr.

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Media Release

The Hon Duncan Kerr, MP

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs


21 October 1999


Awards a good start, but crime victims neglected - Kerr

Shadow Justice Minister, Duncan Kerr, today endorsed the 1999 Australian Violence Prevention Awards, but said more needs to be done to support the victims of violent crime.

Mr Kerr said crime prevention initiatives such as the Australian Violence Prevention Awards must be applauded.

"However, the Federal Government is neglecting the issue of support for victims of violent crime," Mr Kerr said.

"Victimisation must be put on the national agenda. Under the current state-based system, there is no national consistency in the compensation, support and treatment of victims of violent crime.

"Every year in Australia, there are 620,000 assault victims. Of these, 30,000 are women who are victims of sexual assault.

"Victims are compensated differently in different states. Compensation is capped in many states and can range from $10,000 in Tasmania to $75,000 in Queensland.

"It is a nonsense that eligibility for compensation for funeral or medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering is dictated by what State or territory you live in - and not based on justice, fairness or equity.

"Victimisation is not a state issue - compensation for victims of crime should not be a state issue.

"The Government must consider options such as the establishment of a National Victims Office to develop national benchmarks for victim support. Such an office would be ideally placed to conduct research, provide witness services and write a National Victims Charter," Mr Kerr said.

For further comment, contact Duncan Kerr on 041 8125 161

or phone 02 6277 4836 or 02 6277 2178



jy  1999-10-22  11:54