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Are you a Victim of Crime?

Authored By: PALawHELP.org
Contents


A Victim of Crime is anyone who has been harmed or hurt as a result of a crime.

Even if you did not report the crime, you are still a victim of crime and may receive legal and supportive services. If you report the crime to law enforcement you may be eligible to receive financial help from the  Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program for a variety of expenses, such as medical and counseling expenses, loss of earnings, loss of support, stolen cash, relocation, funeral, or crime scene cleanup.

Not sure if you are a Victim of Crime?

Below are some examples of the the types of crime you may have been a victim of in Pennsylvania. Please contact your local law enforcement for questions on types of crime. If you are in immediate danger please call 9-1-1.

Click the + sign next to the general description to get more details as to what the crime involves to determine if you are a victim of the crime. 

If you think that you could possibly be a Victim of Crime, go to PAVictimsHelp.org and chat with one of the Site Navigators for guidance on finding for more information on your rights or on services that may be available to you.

 


Some Examples of the Types Crime You Might Experience:

Crimes Against A Person +

 

If anybody has caused, tried to cause or threatened to cause bodily harm to you it is considered a Crime Against a Person. Although deliberate violence done to a person constitutes a crime against the person, actual violence isn't necessarily required.

 

Attempted harm against an individual can also constitute a crime against a person. Depriving people of their liberty or freedom, such as kidnapping or inprisonment, also are considered crimes against persons. Crimes against a person can range from murder to assault, kidnapping and rape.

 

If you have experienced any of these circumstances go to PAVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

Crimes against Property +

 

Crimes Against Property include many common crimes relating to theft or destruction of someone else's property where no force, or threat of force, is directed against an individual.
 

This includes crimes in which property is destroyed such as vandalism or arson and crimes involving theft, where property or money is stolen or taken from its rightful owner.
 

If you have experienced any of these crimes go to PAVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

Intimate Partner Violence, Family Violence or Elder Abuse +

 

You may be a victim of Intimate Partner Violence, Family Violence or Elder Abuse if your partner, your former partner, a family member or someone close to you:

  • Hurts you or others in your family, or scares you through violent acts;
  • Threatens to hurt you; threatens to hurt others like your children, relatives or even your pet; or threatens to kill themself;
  • Humiliates you, or makes you feel worthless;
  • Controls your life by limiting your access to money or by constantly keeping track of what your doing;
  • Stops you from getting the medical help you need;
  • Repeatedly follows you or shows up wherever you are;
  • Repeatedly calls you, or sends you texts or emails, or repeatedly posts harasssing things on social media accounts;
  • Left you unwanted gifts, notes, or messages;
  • Damaged your car, home, or other belongings.

If you are experiencing any of the things go to PaVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

Sexual Violence and Assault +

 

Sexual violence is a term used to refer to any kind of unwanted sexual contact. Sexual violence can include rape, sexting, groping/grabbing, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and exploitation of sexually explicit images.
 

Domestic abusers sometimes use sexual violence as a form of power and control against their victim. Sexual violence and assault can also occur independently of domestic violence and can be perpetrated against strangers. 
 

If you are experiencing this type of treatment go to PaVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

 

Identity Theft +

 

Identity Theft occurs when a criminal uses another person’s personal information to take on that person’s identity. Although it can occur online, most identity theft occurs via stolen wallets and personal identification documents.
 

There are many ways that you might discover that someone is using your information. You might get a notice from the IRS or find unfamiliar accounts on your credit report. You might notice strange withdrawals from your bank account, get bills that aren’t yours, or get calls about debts that you don’t owe.
 

If you suspect that you may be victim of Identity Theft go to PaVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

 

Wage Theft +

 

Wage Theft means a you are not being paid the wages that you earned through your employment. This includes any violation of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law or any other state or Federal Law regulating the payment of compensation for work.
 

Wage Theft includes the failure of your employer to pay you the required Minimum Wage under law and the faliure of your employer to pay you any required Overtime Pay for work in excess of the legal work week which in most cases is any hours worked over 40 straight time hours per week.
 

If you are think you are a victim of Wage Theft go to PaVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

Human Trafficking +

 

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. 

 

You may be a victim of Human Trafficking if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • You are not free to leave your work or living space, or come and go as you wish.
  • Someone is keeping part of your earnings
  • You are unpaid, paid very little, or only paid through tips.
  • You are forced to work extremely long hours.
  • You not allowed to take breaks at work 
  • The work you are forced to do is different from the work you were told you would be doing
  • The working conditions you work in are different than what you expected or were promised.
  • You owe your boss a large debt and are unable to pay it off
  • You can not control of your own money or possessions.
  • You are forced to perform sexual acts for money or favors
  • You are not allowed to keep your own identification documents, such as your passport or drivers license

If you are experiencing any of the things go to PaVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

Hate Crimes +

 

In Pennsylvania, a Hate Crime is defined as a criminal act motivated by ill will or hatred towards a victim’s race, color, religion or national origin. 
 

Hate crimes are termed ethnic intimidation and the offense is set forth in the crimes code. When certain criminal offenses are committed with the motive of hate, the crime of ethnic intimidation can also be charged.
 

Generally, the types of offenses to which ethnic intimidation can be added are called underlying offenses. These underlying offenses involve danger or harm to you and/or your property. 
 

Examples of crimes that could be considered ethnic intimidation under the right circumstances include harassment (in person or electronically), physical assault, and destruction of property.
 

If you feel that you are the victim of a Hate Crime or of ethnic intiminidation go to PaVictimsHelp.org for more information on what help might be available to you.

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If you think that you could be a Victim of Crime, visit PAVictimsHelp.org and chat with one of the Site Navigators who can guide you to more information on your rights, or direct you to services that may be available to help you.
 

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