A victim of domestic violence is often physically and mentally traumatized. Even if the victim gets back to a normal life, it may take a long time. Virginia offers compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund for victims injured in a crime, including domestic violence. The purpose of the Fund is to compensate victims for their losses arising out of the crime.
The compensation covers income loss during recovery or until the victim can return to work. Compensation can cover medical expenses that have not been reimbursed. The victim of domestic violence may also suffer from mental trauma; the Fund will pay for mental health counseling. If there has been a death as a result of domestic violence, the family members of the victim may also receive compensation to cover funeral benefits up to $5,000.
The victim may have to leave the abuser's house. The expenses related to the move will be covered by the Fund, up to $1,000. In many cases, the victim of domestic abuse has been raped by the abuser and has become pregnant. In that case, the Fund will provide compensation to cover related expenses. Children who have witnessed domestic violence may need counseling. In that case, the counseling expenses will also be covered by the Fund. Removing the offender from the household may result in a loss of financial support and there may also be other expenses. All such unreimbursed expenses can be covered by the Fund.
To obtain compensation, the domestic violence victim should report the crime to a law enforcement agency within 120 hours. A request for compensation should be filed within one year from the date the crime occurred; if a person does not report the crime or file a claim within the given time periods, they must show a good reason for failing to do so.
Source: DCJS.Virginia.gov, "An Informational Guide for Domestic Violence Victims in Virginia," April 2013