Victims Assistance Program (VAP) Geelong
The Geelong VAP program is a free service providing information, practical assistance and referrals to other services on behalf of Victims of a violent crime against a person. We support victims of crime to access the criminal justice system, whether the crime has been reported or not, liaise with police about where your case is up to, court support, organising counselling and lodging Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) applications where eligible.
Emily’s story outlines some of the work we do when supporting victims.
75 year old Emily was referred to the Geelong VAP by police after she woke up to confront a masked intruder in her home. The intruder had entered Emily’s garage by dislodging the door from the runner and used the connecting door to gain access to the home.
Emily, who lives alone and has no family in the region was quite distressed about what had occurred and whilst she had lived independently for many years without any concerns for her safety this event caused her to become quite fearful. As the intruder had not been caught, Emily also worried that he would return.
VAP met with Emily at her home on the day after the break in and provided emotional support. Emily agreed to a referral to a psychologist who specialises in working with victims of crime for ongoing counselling to assist her to recover from this experience.
As Emily is in receipt of the aged pension and did not have the funds to cover the insurance excess, the VAP worker negotiated with Emily’s insurance company for Centacare to cover the excess allowing the garage door to be replaced quickly, resulting in Emily’s home being secured.
Emily was referred to a law firm who assessed she may be eligible for financial support with her security needs and an application was put forward to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal requesting additional security such as security camera’s, locks and additional external lighting. This application was successful. VOCAT also agreed to fund a personal alarm system to further assist Emily to regain her sense of safety both at home and in the community.
Emily credits the support she received from VAP as being the reason that she is still able to live independently in her home and participate in activities in her community.