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Article 1, Section 35 of the Washington State Constitution and RCW 7.69 provide crime victims with statutory rights. We will make every effort to ensure you are afforded these rights.

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Advocates Working Together Serving Victims of Crime

Crimes Glossary

Arson »
Assault & Battery »
Burglary »
Crimes Against Children »
Elder Abuse »
Gang Violence »
Human Trafficking »
Identity Theft/Fraud »
Kidnapping/Abduction »
Robbery »
Stalking »
Vehicular Assault/Homicide »
Survivors of Homicide Victims »

ARSON


Hundreds of lives are lost each year in arson-related fires, and thousands suffer burns and other injuries as a result of these crimes. In addition, arson is very financially costly to our society.

Arson is the crime of setting a fire with intent to cause damage. Under the criminal law of most states, arson is committed when a person intentionally burns almost any kind of structure or building, not just a house or business.


There are two degrees of the crime of arson.


  1. Arson in the first degree occurs when a person knowingly and maliciously causes a fire or explosion:
    • which is dangerous to any human life (including firemen);
    • that damages a dwelling;
    • in which there is a person present who is not a participant of the crime; or
    • where there is property valued at $10,000 or more with the intent to collect insurance proceeds.
    First degree arson is a class A felony offense.
  2. Arson in the second degree occurs when a person knowingly and maliciously cause a fire or explosion that damages such structures as buildings, bridges, vehicles, agriculture, or any other property. Second degree arson is a class B felony offense.

Only fires determined through investigation to have been willfully or maliciously set are classified as arsons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is the lead federal agency responsible for investigating major arson and explosive crimes.


The main motivations for committing arson tend to fall under the categories of:


Vandalism - Typically committed by male juveniles who have completed seven to nine years of school. The crime tends to occur spontaneously and is often done by groups. Frequently, entry is gained through force, such as through a window, and the fire is started with materials present at the scene.


Excitement - Excitement-motivated arsonist starts fires to satisfy a craving for excitement. These fires rarely harm people. In some cases of deserted structures, volunteer firefighters and "firebuffs" may be culprits. Slightly older than the vandal, this arsonist tends to have completed ten or more years of school, but generally still lives with one or more parents. He tends to be socially inadequate and has a police record of nuisances.


Revenge - Revenge-motivated arson is done in retaliation for some wrong done against the arsonist, real or imagined, by society, a person or group of persons, or some establishment. It may be a well-planned, single occurrence or a serial arsonist taking revenge on society with little or no planning. The victim of this type of arson usually has a history of conflicts with the perpetrator, and the arson tends to be intraracial. Females tend to target personal possessions, as do romantically slighted revenge-takers. Females tend to use readily accessible flammables, while men prefer Molotov cocktails and/or excessive amounts of accelerant.


Crime Concealment - The fire may be used to destroy bodies, forensic evidence, records, or to distract from the real crime (such as in burglary). The perpetrator commonly uses alcohol or drugs and usually has a history of police or fire department contacts or arrests. In the case of murder-concealment, a liquid accelerant is often used, and the crime tends to be disorganized.


Profit - The purpose of profit-motivated arson is to achieve monetary gain. This category includes fraud, employment and competition. One of the most commonly heard of is insurance fraud. These fires tend to be more sophisticated with less physical evidence and more complex fire-starting devices. Frequently, the offender is hired, leaves the crime scene and does not return.


Extremist - Extremist-motivated arson is done to further a cause. Categories such as terrorism, riots and discrimination fall under this distinction. The target usually represents the antithesis of the offender's belief. It is usually organized, planned and done in groups. Explosive devices such as Molotov cocktails are commonly used. The offender is often readily identified with the cause or group behind this crime.

If you or someone you know thinks you are a victim of arson and would like to report the crime, contact your local law enforcement agency. If additional services are needed contact your local Crime Victim Advocacy Program.


The steps to take:


  1. Contact the American Red Cross for immediate relief of basic needs.
  2. Discuss the crime with your local fire department and law enforcement.
  3. Document all information you have regarding the events leading up to the fire.
  4. If you have insurance, contact your company and inform them of the incident.

For additional information, please contact (for internet links, please see USEFUL LINKS section of this site):


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221


Your State Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government."


National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20006-3817
(202) 466-6272

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 927-7777


Insurance Information Institute
110 William Street, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10038
(212) 669-9200


National Arson Prevention Clearinghouse
16825 South Seton Avenue Suite D001
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
(888) 603-3100


All rights reserved. Copyright © 2001 by the National Center for Victims of Crime.  This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed free of charge, in its entirety and includes this copyright notice.


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ASSAULT & BATTERY


In most states, an assault/battery is committed when one person:


  1. tries to or does physically strike another, or
  2. acts in a threatening manner to put another in fear of immediate harm.

*Actual physical contact is not necessary; threatening gestures that would alarm any reasonable person can constitute an assault.


Many states declare that a more serious or aggravated assault/battery occurs when one person:


  1. tries to or does cause severe injury to another
  2. causes injury through use of a deadly weapon

Historically, laws treated the threat of physical injury as "assault", and the completed act of physical contact or offensive touching as "battery," but many states no longer differentiate between the two.

Under no circumstances is it okay for another person to threaten or cause serious bodily injury to you. You have rights and you have support!


Prevention Tips: While becoming a victim of crime is never the fault of the victim, the National Crime Prevention Council has established the following list of practices that may help safeguard individuals from becoming victims of assault:


  • Stand tall and walk with confidence. Watch where you are going and what is going on around you.
  • Walk along well-lit and busy streets. Walk with friends. Avoid shortcuts, dark alleys, deserted streets and wooded areas.
  • Know your neighborhood. Identify police and fire stations, libraries, schools - as well as the hours of operation of local stores and restaurants.
  • Don't carry more money than you will need for the day, but do carry emergency change for a telephone call.
  • When you are out late at night, have a friend accompany you - don't go alone. Also, let someone know where you will be going and when you will return.
  • Never hitchhike.
  • When driving, always park in well-lit places and lock your doors.
  • Before entering your vehicle, check for offenders hiding in the back seat or on the floor.
  • If harassed or assaulted, scream and attempt to run to safety.

While these steps may do more to protect victims of assault by strangers, some are applicable to those assaulted by non-strangers. Finally, whether it is a stranger or non-stranger assault, it is important to report the incident to local law enforcement immediately. Crime prevention and awareness, as well as consistent reporting, may be the strongest defenses against becoming the victim of an assault.

If you or someone you know is a victim of Assault and/or Battery and would like to report this crime, contact your local Law Enforcement Agency. If additional services are needed contact your local Crime Victim Advocacy Program.


Steps To Take:


  1. Contact your local law enforcement agency and report the crime if you wish to have it prosecuted. Be aware that the crime may be reported by another person who witnessed the crime or if you are seriously injured. The person making the report should provide law enforcement with all relevant information regarding the crime.
  2. Go to a doctor and have any injuries observed, treated and documented.
  3. Contact local resources. There are many agencies that offer Crime Victim Advocacy Services to victims of crime. These agencies can provide: legal and systems advocacy, support, information and referrals in your time of need.

CVAN can assist victims of assault that are not classified as domestic violence (actual or threatened physical or sexual violence, or psychological and emotional abuse, directed toward a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or current or former dating partner.) For domestic violence resources, please contact:


Safeplace: 360-754-6300

For more information, please contact (for internet links, please see the USEFUL LINKS section of this site):


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221

Your State Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government."

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BURGLARY


Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into almost any structure (not just a home or business) with the intent to commit any crime inside. No physical breaking and entering is required; the offender may simply trespass through an open door. Unlike robbery, which involves use of force or fear to obtain another person's property, there is usually no victim present during a burglary. For reporting purposes this definition includes:


  • unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny (illegal taking and carrying away of personal property belonging to another with the purpose of depriving the owner of its possession) or felony;
  • breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny;
  • housebreaking; safecracking

Criminals generally look for opportunities that require the least effort and offer low risk and high gain. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your property:


  • Install deadlocks on all outside doors including your garage
  • Keep all doors and windows locked when possible
  • Keep outside lights on at night
  • Keep a light on in the home at night and when you leave your home
  • Have a security system installed
  • Keep valuables in a home safe
  • Be aware of suspicious activity in your neighborhood
  • Have a safety plan in place with your family in case of a robbery

If you are a victim of Burglary and need support, first contact law enforcement. If additional services are desired contact your local crime victim advocacy program.

Steps to take if you are a victim of burglary:


  1. Immediately exit the scene of the crime without touching anything.
  2. Call law enforcement and do not return to the scene until law enforcement declares that it is safe.
  3. Take a note of all stolen items (including serial numbers if available) and any damage to your home or property.
  4. If check books or credit cards have been stolen, report this to your bank or credit card company immediately.
  5. If you are insured, contact your insurance company for a claim form.
  6. If official documents such as your social security card, birth certificate, passport or drivers license have been stolen, tell the issuing authority as soon as possible and request copies.
  7. Change locks. Install locks of all doors and windows.

For more information, please contact:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221


Your state Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government."


National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20006-3817
(202) 466–6272


National Center for Victims of Crime

Office for Victims of Crime

National Organization For Victim Assistance


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CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN


Our children are our Nation's most valuable asset. They represent the bright future of our country and hold our hope for a better Nation. Our children are also the most vulnerable members of society. Protecting them against the fear of crime and from becoming victims of crime must be a national priority.


Federal Bureau of Investigations, Crimes against Children Program

Crime Victims Advocacy Network focuses on non-sexual, non-familial crimes against children. For information on child sexual/familial abuse, please contact your local Child Protection agency and/or Law Enforcement.


For more information or assistance with reporting, please call:


Childhelp USA®
800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
In Washington State: TTY: (800) 624-6186 or Toll-Free: (866) END-HARM (866-363-4276
After hours: (800) 562-5624

website


Recently, there is an increasing awareness of the more non-traditional, under-reported types of crimes committed against children. Examples of there are:


  • Child maltreatment by non-parental caregivers or custodians
  • Robbery
  • Access to a firearms/weapons
  • Bullying,
  • Stranger abduction
  • Hate crime
  • Physical assaults
  • Property crimes
  • Internet crimes

Children and adolescents have among the highest rates of conventional crime victimization in our society. Despite enormous publicity about crimes committed by youth, however, this high vulnerability is seldom mentioned.  The disproportionate number of youthful offenders is much more widely recognized than the disproportionate number of victims.


Youth 12-17 are two to three times more likely than adults to be the victims of an assault, robbery,  or rape, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.


In the court system, many states take care to see that the interests of a child are represented. States recognize that children need additional sensitivity and guidance as they move through the criminal justice process. Most states are using court-appointed special advocates (CASA) - volunteers who are assigned to a child's case to protect the best interests of the child. They assist the court in making discretionary decisions such as the best placement for the child victim if it is needed, as well as to resolve questions concerning the child's competency to testify. The duties of CASA volunteers frequently include guiding the victim and victim's family through the investigative and judicial processes. CASA volunteers may also help the child and the child's families cope with the emotional impact of the offense.


If you have been or know a victim or a witness to a crime against a child, here are some steps to take:


  1. If the child/children are in immediate danger, call 911. If possible, remove the child/children from the scene and get them to a safe place.
  2. Do not approach the offender on your own; it may be unsafe for you and the child/children.
  3. Write down everything that you witnessed and all of the information about the child/children and the perpetrator before reporting to Child Protective Services and/or Law Enforcement. Give as much detail as possible.
  4. Report any incidents to your local Child Protective Services and/or Law Enforcement agency.

For additional information, please contact:

Department of Social and Health Services/Child Protective Services


If you suspect that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected, call
1-866-ENDHARM and an operator will connect you to the appropriate DSHS office.


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221


Your State Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government."


The Special Investigations Unit of the Seattle Police Vice Section is the ICAC Task force for Washington State. The ICAC Task Force investigates any computer crime involving children anywhere in the state


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ELDER ABUSE


Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. The specificity of laws varies from state to state, but broadly defined, abuse may be:


  • Physical Abuse - Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.
  • Emotional Abuse - Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
  • Exploitation - Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder.
  • Neglect - Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder.
  • Abandonment - The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.

Signs and symptoms that there could be a problem include but are not limited to:


  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats and other uses of power and control by caregivers are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person.
  • Isolation of the elderly person or cutting off social contact.

Financial or Material Exploitation

Financial or material exploitation is defined as the illegal or improper use of an elder's funds, property, or assets. Examples include, but are not limited to, cashing an elderly person's checks without authorization or permission; forging an older person's signature; misusing or stealing an older person's money or possessions; coercing or deceiving an older person into signing any document (e.g., contracts or will); and the improper use of guardianship, or power of attorney.


Signs and symptoms of financial or material exploitation include but are not limited to:


  • sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained
  • withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder;
  • the inclusion of additional names on an elder's bank signature card;
  • unauthorized withdrawal of the elder's funds using the elder's ATM card;
  • abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents;
  • unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions;
  • substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources;
  • discovery of an elder's signature being forged for financial transactions or for the titles of his/her possessions;
  • sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to an elder's affairs and possessions;
  • unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family;
  • the provision of services that are not necessary; and
  • an elder's report of financial exploitation

For more information, please contact:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
(888) 288-9221 (24 hour crisis intervention/information/referral)


Adult Protective Services: 1-800-462-4957


The National Center on Elder Abuse - the major source of available statistics on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in the United States. It collects and analyzes national data on cases referred to and investigated by adult protective services, and serves as a resource to investigators worldwide.


Grays Harbor County Gatekeeper Coalition
621 West Spruce
Montesano, WA 98563
(360) 249-5154


Lewis County Gatekeeper Program
Cascade Mental Health Care
135 W. Main Street
P.O. Box 1445
Chehalis, WA 98532
(360) 748-6696


Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging (W4A)
W4A Headquarters
1501 S Capital Way #103,
Olympia, WA 98501-2293
Website
(360) 570-2239


Lewis/Mason/Thurston AAA
3603 Mud Bay Road , Suite A
Olympia , WA 98502
(360) 664-2168


South Sound Vulnerable Adult Task Force
Website


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GANG VIOLENCE


Once found principally in large cities, violent street gangs now affect public safety, community image, and quality of life in communities of all sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas. No region of the United States is untouched by gangs. Gangs affect society at all levels, causing heightened fears for safety, violence, and economic costs (2005 National Gang Threat Assessment, National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations, 2005).


Street gangs have existed in the United States for years and their origins can be traced back to many large metropolitan areas. Many gangs originally formed as a means of self-protection for family and friends within their neighborhood, but eventually their activities led to criminal acts as a source of income.

Generally, a gang may be defined as a group of three or more persons who:


  • Share a common identity, usually through a gang name
  • Typically adopt and use certain signs, symbols and/or colors and,
  • Who individually or collectively engage in criminal activity

A gang may wear their "colors", wear certain types of clothing, tattoos, brands, or likewise imprint their gang's name, logo, or other identifying marks on their bodies. Many gangs communicate through the use of hand signals and graffiti on public property. It must be understood that it is not illegal to be in a gang; it is the activities that most gangs participate in that are illegal. Examples of gang activities are: drug manufacture and sales, assault, drive-by shooting, robbery and extortion. These activities provide funding for gang activities or to further the gang's reputation on the streets.


Why Do Gangs Exist -- Why Do People Join Them?


There have been many explanations for why the gang population has exploded in the United States, including:


  • Increased drug trafficking;
  • The ease of access to drugs/guns;
  • Poverty;
  • Racial divisions;
  • Lack of parental supervision;
  • Lack of access to quality education;
  • Lack of employment opportunities;
  • Lack of recreational opportunities;
  • Breakdown in family structure;
  • Excessive sex and violence in television shows and moves; and
  • The breakdown of the structure of the community and of the church.

All may have contributed in some way, but no single reason is solely responsible.
Although the risks and sacrifices are great, the truth is gangs provide many benefits to their members. Some of these include:


  • Companionship;
  • Protection;
  • A sense of belonging;
  • Fast money;
  • Training;
  • Relief of frustration;
  • Power; and
  • Self-esteem (NSSC, 1988).

When the benefits of gang life out-weigh the risks, gang populations will grow.

If you are a victim of gang violence:


  1. Do not threaten or retaliate against the gang members.
  2. You have the choice to report the incident to Law Enforcement-many Law
    Enforcement agencies have Gang Crimes Units.
  3. Alert law enforcement if you are concerned about retaliation against you or your family.

For more information, please contact:

www.safeyouth.org

National Criminal Justice Resource


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221


Your State Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government."


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HUMAN TRAFFICKING


Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. The third largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, trafficking is one of the most urgent human rights issues today. It is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of: threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, giving or receiving of payments or benefits Traffickers frequently recruit victims through false advertisements promising legitimate jobs as hostesses, domestics, or work in the agricultural industry.


Because trafficking in persons is usually an "underground" crime, it can be difficult for law-enforcement personnel, the public, or service providers to identify a trafficking victim and/or a trafficking situation. Many victims are physically unable to leave their work sites without an escort and are not free to contact family, friends, or members of the public. Victims are kept under surveillance at all times. The trafficker may act as a translator.


There are many factors may indicate a trafficking situation:


Sex Trafficking - Victims of sex trafficking are often found in the streets or working in establishments that offer commercial sex acts-. brothels, strip clubs, pornography production houses. Such establishments may operate as:


  • Massage Parlors
  • Escort Services
  • Adult Bookstores
  • Modeling Studios
  • Bars/Strip Clubs

Labor Trafficking - People forced into non-consensual service can be found in:


  • Sweatshops (where abusive labor standards are present)
  • Commercial Agricultural Situations (fields, processing plants, canneries)
  • Domestic Situations (maids, nannies)
  • Construction Sites (particularly if public access is denied)
  • Restaurant and Custodial Work

Trafficking victims of all kinds come from rural, suburban, and urban settings. Victims live a life marked by abuse, betrayal of their basic human rights, and control under their trafficker. They may be citizens or immigrants


Trafficking Screening Questions


  1. Is the person free to leave the work site?
  2. Is the person physically, sexually or psychologically abused?
  3. Does the person have a passport or valid I.D. card and is he/she in possession of such documents?
  4. What is the pay and conditions of employment?
  5. Does the person live at home or at/near the work site?
  6. How did the individual arrive to this destination if the suspected victim is a foreign national?
  7. Has the person or a family member of this person been threatened?
  8. Does the person fear that something bad will happen to him or her, or to a family member, if he/she leaves the job?

If you suspect that a person is a trafficking victim, there are a number of ways to report the suspected case and to help the individual receive appropriate care and counseling.


In the United States:


  • Call the Health and Human Services-sponsored, toll-free line 888-3737-888 24 hours/day. This hotline will help you determine if you have encountered victims of human trafficking, will identify local resources available in your community to help victims, and will help you coordinate with local social service organizations.
  • Contact your state s Attorney General s victim/witness coordinator.
  • Contact your local FBI.

For more information, please contact:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221


Your state Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government.

www.humantrafficking.org - A web resource for combating human trafficking


WARN-Washington
Anti-trafficking Response Network
Telephone: 1-206-245-0782
Email: warntrafficking@yahoo.com
Website: warn-trafficking.org


Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center
U.S. Department of Justice
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20850
(800) 627 - 6872


Office for Victims of Crime - www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/

U.S. Department of Justice
633 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 307 – 5983


National Center For Victims of Crime - http://www.ncvc.org/

 

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IDENTITY THEFT/FRAUD


Identity Theft, or identity fraud, refers to all types of crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses the personal information of another in such a way that involves fraud or deception, usually for financial gain.

Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America and other countries around the world.

Your personal data such as your social security number, your bank account or credit card number, telephone calling card number, and other valuable identifying data, including your date of birth, can be used by the wrong persons to personally profit at your expense. Using such information, unauthorized persons can not only wreak havoc with an individual's personal finances but can even take over their identity altogether amassing enormous debts and even committing criminal acts in the name of their victims.


The affect on victim's lives can be devastating both financially and emotionally and can take years to recover.


  1. Shred all documents before you throw them away-this includes pre-approved
    credit card applications, bills and any other documents that have personal
    information.
  2. Do NOT leave mail in your mailbox
  3. Check your credit reports regularly.
  4. Don’t leave important documents in your car.
  5. Be very careful about giving out personal information via phone, mail, or
    Internet.
  6. Do not carry your social security card with you.
  7. Do not put your drivers license number on your checks.

If you are a VICTIM of IDENTITY THEFT OR FRAUD:


  1. Get a copy of your credit report.
  2. Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your report so that credit cannot be obtained in your name.
  3. Contact each place you think you might have been a victim and talk to their fraud department. Review your information and if something seems wrong make sure to close your account. If you open any new accounts ask for a password that is not commonly used. The Federal Trade Commission has a document that may simplify the process. You can obtain this document on their website www.ftc.gov
  4. Report the crime to the police department in the area in which the crime took place. Report the crime as an identity theft and obtain a copy of the report. You may need to use the police report to verify the crime to a bank or credit card company.
  5. Keep records and notes of every person you speak with and the date you spoke to them. Keep all the records you take down in the same place and make them accessible if you need them. Document all the time you spend and any lost wages. If the perpetrator is caught, give that information to the prosecuting attorney for possible restitution.
  6. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Their hotline is Toll-free 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502
  7. If your checks have been stolen or if someone set up a bank account in your name, contact the major check verification companies and report the fraud.

For more information, please contact:


Related Websites:

www.consumer.gov/idtheft/

www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html

www.idtheftcenter.org/

www.fraud.org/


Credit Monitoring Resources:

TransUnion
1-800-680-7289
www.transunion.com/fvadinfokit/index.jsp


Experian
1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com/consumer/index.html


Eqifax
1-800-525-6285
http://www.equifax.com/


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KIDNAPPING/ABDUCTION


Kidnapping is the taking away of a person against the person's will, by "Force" or "Fraud" usually to hold the person in "False Imprisonment." False imprisonment is a confinement of a person without consent or legal authority. This applies to adults, youth and children. CVAN deals with non-family abduction only.

Non-Family Abduction: An episode in which a non-family perpetrator takes a person by the use of physical force or threat of bodily harm or detains the child for a substantial period of time (at least 1 hour) in an isolated place by the use of physical force or threat of bodily harm without lawful authority or parental permission, or (2) an episode in which a minor child, a mentally incompetent or an adult without lawful authority or parental permission, is taken or detained or voluntarily accompanies a non-family perpetrator who conceals the persons whereabouts, demands ransom, or expresses the intention to keep the child permanently.


The tips noted below will help parents lessen the opportunity for abduction and kidnapping and better safeguard their children.


In general, parents are encouraged to:


  1. Teach your children to run away from danger, never towards it. Danger is anyone or anything that invades their personal space. Teach them to yell loudly. Their safety is more important than being polite. Teach your children that if they are ever followed in a car to turn around and run in the other direction to you or a trusted adult.
  2. Never leave their child unattended, however brief they mean to be.
  3. Familiarize themselves with their child's friends (and their families), as well as their daily activities.
  4. Insist that their children return home at a certain time (curfew).
  5. Be alert to any person older than the child that is paying an unusual amount of attention, or offers exuberant gifts to, the child.
  6. Teach their children to say "no" when they feel someone is wrong or making them feel uncomfortable.
  7. Encourage that their children should report any approaches of anyone who made them feel uncomfortable.

There are a number of basic techniques that may efficiently prevent kidnapping for adults and children. If someone attempts to grab you:


  1. Squat down (not away) and run away.
  2. Pull out of the grabbed clothing (jacket, backpack, etc) and run away.
  3. Strike the person in a vulnerable area (groin, throat, etc.) and run.
  4. Grab hold of a static object (pole, hydrant, tree, etc.) and don't let go until someone assists you.

If someone pulls you into a vehicle:


  1. Open the door and run when the vehicle stops in traffic, at a stop light, store, or any other public area.
  2. Attempt to jump into the back seat when the vehicle is in motion. The driver cannot control both you and the vehicle at the same time. When the vehicle stops, open the door and run.
  3. If forced into a trunk, damage the taillight bulbs.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
www.missingkids.com
 


Site for Missing Adults
www.theyaremissed.org


Site for Missing Youth
www.childfindofamerica.org

KlaasKids Foundation: www.klaaskids.org


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ROBBERY


Robbery is defined as completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury. It is reported than an armed robbery occurs every 59 seconds in the United States.


Some motivators for robbery are:


  1. Monetary reasons
    a. support for drug addictions
    b. food and shelter
    c. desire for money
    d. need for material items
  2. Thrill/excitement
  3. Anger/Revenge/Retaliation
  4. To impress friends, significant others, gang members

Emotional Trauma of Robbery Victimization - Typical victim responses to a robbery can include such reactions as:


  • Shock
  • Confusion
  • Humiliation
  • Anger
  • Disbelief
  • Despair
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Helplessness
  • Shame
  • Denial
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Instability

These are all normal reactions to a traumatic experience.


What to Do During a Robbery:


  • Try to stay calm. Don't make any sudden movements to upset the robber.
  • Do exactly as you are told. DO NOT RESIST!
  • Activate your alarm ONLY if you can do so secretly.
  • Tell the robber about anything that might surprise him, such as someone who is expected to arrive soon.
  • If you have to move or reach, tell the robber what you are going to do and why.
  • Try to get a good look at the robber so you can describe him later.
  • Don't be a hero. It's better to lose your money than your life.
  • Give the robber time to leave. 
  • Note his direction of travel when he leaves.
  • Try to get a description of his vehicle ONLY if you can do so without exposing yourself to harm.

What To Do After A Robbery:


  • Call the police immediately, even if you have already activated the alarm.
  • Close the store and lock the door(s) if you have a key.
  • Do not discuss the details of the robbery with witnesses or fellow employees.
  • Ask any witnesses to stay until police arrive. If they can't, get their names, phone numbers and addresses.
  • Do not touch anything that the robber may have touched.  Block off areas where the robber was, if necessary.
  • Try to recall as much as you can about the robber's appearance, speech and mannerisms. Make notes.
  • Step outside the store when the police arrive so that they'll know the robber is gone and you are safe.
  • Let the police answer inquiries from the news media.
  • Do not discuss the amount of money taken with anyone other than police

For more information, please contact:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
(888) 288-9221


Your state Attorney General, county/city prosecutor, or county/city law enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government.


Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center
U.S. Department of Justice
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20850
(800) 627 - 6872


Office for Victims of Crime
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/


U.S. Department of Justice
633 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 307 – 5983

National Center For Victims of Crime
www.ncvc.org/


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STALKING


Stalking is a legal term for repeated Harassment or other forms of invasion of a person's privacy in a manner that causes fear to its target. Statutes vary between jurisdiction but may include such acts as:


  • repeated following
  • unwanted contact (by letter or other means of communication)
  • taking photos or video footage
  • observing a person's actions closely for an extended period of time
  • contacting family members, friends, or associates of a target inappropriately

Psychologists have identified two main categories of stalkers - 'Love Obsession' and 'Simple Obsession'. The former make up about 20% of stalkers, the vast majority with a mental disorder (often schizophrenia or paranoia), who form emotional attachments to strangers as they are unable to maintain normal social relationships. The later account for about 75% of cases, often have a personality disorder, and usually have or had some form of relationship with the victim.


Police need evidence of a crime before they can charge a stalker with a criminal offence, so it is crucial that you collect any evidence of stalking and keep a Stalking Incident and Behavior Log. You cannot obtain a restraining order without evidence.


Effects of Stalking - Common effects of stalking on a victim's mental and emotional health include:


Common Effects of Stalking on a Victim’s Physiological Health:


For more information and support:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
1-888-288-9221 24 hour crisis intervention/information/referral


Stalking: From Online to Offline
This site provides information on cyberstalking and stalking.


Stalking Victims' Sanctuary
Stalking Resource Center offered by National Center for Victims of Crime


Stalking Incident and Behavior Log


Date:
Time:
Location:
Law enforcement agency:
Report #:
Officer name and badge number:

Offender:
Name:
Relationship:
Description:

Witnesses: Name:
Address:
Phone:
Relationship: 
 
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Relationship:

Description of incident/behavior:

Additional Information:


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VEHICULAR ASSAULT/HOMICIDE


Vehicular assault is a criminal act causing bodily harm/injury to another person with a motor vehicle. Vehicular homicide is a criminal act involving the killing of a person with a motor vehicle. Sometimes the act is committed intentionally (road rage); hit and run (leaving the scene of an accident); or unintentionally (manslaughter); (reckless driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol).


When the death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person, the driver is guilty of vehicular homicide if the driver was operating a motor vehicle:


  • In a reckless manner
  • Without regard for the safety of others
  • Under the influence of drugs, alcohol or any mind altering substance;
  • Causes serious bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement or loss/ impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body.

The only difference between a vehicular homicide and other homicides is the use of a motor vehicle as a weapon, instead of a gun or knife. This does not change in the elements required to be proved for murder. As long as the elements for murder can be proved, a vehicular homicide defendant can be tried for murder just like someone who uses a gun.


If you are the survivor of a vehicular assault or the survivor of homicide victim here are some Steps to Take:


  1. Contact your local law enforcement agency and report the crime if you wish to have it prosecuted. Be aware that the crime may be reported by another person who witnessed the crime or if you are seriously injured. The person making the report should provide law enforcement with all relevant information regarding the crime.
  2. Go to a doctor and have any injuries observed, treated and documented.\
  3. Contact local resources. There are many agencies that offer Crime Victim Advocacy Services to victims of crime. These agencies can provide: legal and criminal justice advocacy, support, information and referrals in your time of need.

Crime Victims Advocacy Network offers these services to victims in Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. Contact us toll-free 24 hours a day at 1-888-288-9221


For additional information, please contact:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
1-888-288-9221


M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
511 East John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 700
Irving, TX 75062
(800) 438 - 6233
(214) 744 – 6233


Your state Attorney General, County/City Prosecutor, or County/City Law Enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government."


Violent Crime Victim Services
Advocacy for co-victims of Homicide
1501 Pacific Ave., Suite 201
Tacoma, WA 98402
(360) 701-2079 or 253-383-5254


Seattle Washington Homicide Support
The Compassionate Friends, Inc.
P. O. Box 3696
Oak Brook, IL 60522-3696
Toll-free: 877-969-0010
PH: 630-990-0010
FAX: 630-990-0246


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SURVIVORS OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS


Homicide is generally defined as the willful, intentional killing of one human being by another. There are different types of homicide, including murder and manslaughter. People from all walks of life and all types of backgrounds can be victims of homicide. Family members and significant others become co-victims when their loved one is murdered.


The violent death of a family member, intimate partner, or close friend is one of the most traumatic experiences you could ever face. It is an event for which no one can adequately prepare but that results in a wide range of emotional pain and upheaval. Everyone close to the victim will grieve in different ways. In addition, the sudden and unnatural manner of death presents feelings and emotions that compound those caused by your grief.


When co-victims first learn about the homicide, many experience:


  • shock and disbelief
  • numbness
  • changes in appetite or sleeping patterns
  • difficulty concentrating, confusion
  • anger, fear, and worry.

As a homicide co-victim, you may experience many kinds of loss. You may feel:


  • a loss of self or feel changed from the person you used to be
  • that you have lost control of your life and your sense of safety and security. *You may question your faith or religion

Remember, each person deals with tragedy in his or her own way. At times, you may feel depressed or hopeless and lack interest in things you once enjoyed. Emotions may come and go or overwhelm you. Know that intense feelings are normal. What you feel is what you need to feel moment by moment.


Your involvement with the criminal justice system may complicate your grief. Often, homicide co-victims are depersonalized throughout the criminal justice process. Through the police investigation, you may hear for the first time certain details about the victim that can be confusing and sometimes hurtful.


Inaccurate or inappropriate information about the victim may come out in court or in the media. In addition, court rules and delays in prosecution can be very frustrating. Co-victims find that arrests


  • do not always end in prosecution
  • prosecutions do not always end in convictions
  • convictions do not always mean stiff sentences

All states now have crime victim compensation programs that reimburse victims’ families for certain out-of-pocket expenses, including funeral expenses, medical expenses, counseling, and other financial needs that may occur. Contact your state’s victim compensation program or Crime Victims Advocacy Network to discuss eligibility requirements in Washington State.


Contact victim assistance programs in your community or seek out counselors who understand the grief that follows traumatic death. CVAN advocates can provide you with information about crime victim rights, victim support services and assist you through the criminal justice process.


For more information, please contact:


Crime Victims Advocacy Network
Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific Counties, WA
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Bldg. 2, Rm. 258
Olympia, WA 98502
1-888-288-9221


Your state Attorney General, county/city prosecutor, or county/city law enforcement: check in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under the appropriate section heading of either "Local Governments," "County Governments," or "State Government.


The Compassionate Friends
630–990–0010
www.compassionatefriends.org


Violent Crime Victim Services
253–383–5254
www.vcvs.org


National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children
1–888–818–POMC or 1–888–818–7662
www.pomc.com


Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center
U.S. Department of Justice
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20850
(800) 627-6872


Office for Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice
633 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 307–5983


National Center For Victims of Crime


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