Criminal Justice Support
BRISSC supports survivors of sexual violence navigate the criminal justice system. We support survivors to:
- Report and make a formal statement to police
- Throughout the police investigation process
- Throughout the court process
Restorative Justice Support
BRISSC is building connections with Adult Restorative Justice Conferencing (ARJC) Queensland.
Victims Assist Queensland (VAQ)
If you have been the victim of a crime in Queensland, you may be entitled to financial restitution and/or a special recognition payment. BRISSC supports survivors of sexual violence to apply for VAQ. If your experience of sexual violence occurred prior to 2009, a criminal conviction is required to access financial restitution and/or a special recognition payment. If your experience occurred after 2009, a criminal conviction is not required.
What is VAQ?
Victims Assist Queensland provides financial assistance to people who have experienced an act/s of violence in Queensland. This compensation serves to support recovery from injuries caused. Depending on our capacity, BRISSC can work with you to complete an application relating to experiences of sexual violence.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible, the act of violence must have occurred in Queensland, needs to have caused injury (physical, psychological and/or emotional) and it needs to be reported to a relevant person.
If the experience occurred prior to the 1st of December 2009 a conviction needs to be recorded. After this date, a conviction is not necessary. However, it does still need to be reported either to the police, a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor or domestic and family violence worker. Extra conditions also exist for experiences of domestic violence that occurred before July 1st 2017.
How does it work?
VAQ will only consider compensating for costs of services and goods that directly link back to recovering from the experience. For example, counselling, security upgrades, related medical expenses. Paperwork needs to be gathered to support your application. There is also a one-off special recognition payment that ranges between $1,000 to $10,000. You can use this sum as you wish.
How long do I have to wait?
VAQ is making changes in the following months that aim to make the process easier and quicker. However, how long it takes is still varied. VAQ is hoping to make an initial assessment within approximately three months. If approved, they would then pay out the recognition payment, five counselling sessions and any out-of-pocket expenses. The remainder of the application can take upwards of 12 months to process. We can apply for urgent and immediate expenses that may get paid out earlier.
To find out more about support and advocacy for criminal justice, restorative justice and VAQ, please contact us.