Help for Victims & Witnesses

Being a crime victim can be a very disturbing, emotional experience. Forget what you’ve seen on TV or in the movies — crime and its effects are seldom tied up in an hour or two. Crime disrupts health, personal outlook and relationships of victims, and can often destroys victims’ sense of trust in their surroundings and their sense of control over their lives. It can take weeks or months for victims to regain their emotional balance. Time and understanding are the best remedies for dealing with the impact of serious crime. Talking is often the best medicine for crime victims. Family and friends need to listen to the victim’s story no matter how many times it is told. Victims need non-judgmental support and time to heal at their own pace.

Crime Victim Compensation Program

If this crime resulted in a personal injury, the Crime Victim Compensation Program may be available to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses (such as medical bills, counseling, and lost wages), even if there is no arrest or conviction. Reimbursement is not available for property damage or loss. If you would like further information please contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

General Victim’s Rights

Under Wisconsin State Statutes Act 181, and State Statute 950.04, victims are afforded certain rights as follows:

  • You have the right to receive protection from the offender throughout the justice process.
  • You have the right to have any stolen, recovered, or seized property which is no longer needed as evidence, returned to you as quickly as possible. Contact the Investigating Officer or Detective to determine when property may be released.
  • You have the right to information regarding financial restitution, compensation, and other services. For the purposes of restitution, it is important that you gather and keep accurate documentation about your losses.
  • You have the right to attend all hearings.
  • You have the right to request an opportunity to confer with staff of the District Attorney’s Office.
  • You have the right to a timely disposition of the case.
  • You have the right to submit a victim impact statement to the judge.
  • You have the right to be informed of the final disposition of the case.

Victim Support Resources

Dane County District Attorney’s Office – (608) 266-4211

Dane County District Attorney’s Victim / Witness Unit –  (608) 266-9003

Dane County District Attorney’s Office Crime Response Program –  (608) 284-6908

Dane County District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit –  (608) 284-6880

Rape Crisis Center –  (608) 251-7273

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) –  (608) 251-1237

Journey Mental Health Center – (608) 280-2720

Dane County Human Services –  (608) 255-6067

United Way of Dane County/First Call for Help – (608) 246-4357 (Information and Referral Service)

Department of Justice, Victim Resource Center –  (608) 264-9497

Dane County VINE Service –  (877) 418-8463

VINE is a free, 24-hour telephone service that allows you to check on the status of inmates in custody within the Dane County Jail System, and to register for automatic notification when an inmate is released or transferred. Vine can also provide you with information on the inmate’s charges and bail, location in the jail, scheduled release date, where and when an inmate was transferred, and court information concerning scheduled hearings. Victim Information and Notification Everyday Do not depend solely on the VINE service for your protection. If you feel that you may be at risk, take precautions as if the inmate has already been released.