The Victim Rights Center of Connecticut (VRCCT) is dedicated to serving the needs of victims of violent crime. We do this by combining our understanding of the effects of trauma on victims with our knowledge of the many ways the legal system can help to reduce the disruptions that violence can bring to the lives of survivors. VRCCT acts as independent legal counsel sworn to protect the legal rights and best interests of the victim through a broad-based approach grounded in litigation, creative problem-solving, and extensive knowledge of the judicial system.
Crime victims are not just witnesses to the crime. They are real people who have endured a highly traumatic experience which can devastate every aspect of their lives. They often face those consequences alone. VRCCT can help protect their privacy and constitutional rights if the offender is arrested. We also can help victims decide whether to report to the police, and go with them to do so. We help with housing, employment, education and benefits that are disrupted following a crime. It is important for victims to have a lawyer as soon as possible.
Standing with Survivors
Sexual assault victims survive a highly traumatic intrusion that often disrupts every part of their lives: work, friendships, education, or housing. Many survivors are unwilling to report a sexual assault for fear of not being believed or being blamed for the crime. We understand these pressures and can use the law to help deal with these multiple life crises.
Reporting Elder Abuse
The elderly are especially vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse. They often are isolated, reluctant to complain, or impaired physically or cognitively. We can help older victims to find safety, access services, and report abuse.
Protecting Children in Court
Child abuse is an epidemic in our society but one that is often discounted by those whose job it is to protect children. Adults, including police and Department of Children and Families workers, too often do not believe children who report sexual abuse. We work to convince these doubting adults to listen to children. We also help children deal with the frightening and complex system that is supposed to protect them. If child abuse affects your family, VRCCT will advise and protect you and your children during investigations by police and DCF, and in criminal court cases. Offenders who are not arrested often seek visitation or custody of children they have abused. We will advocate for the child in family court.
Justice for LGBTQ+ Individuals
Those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer often face hostility or misunderstanding from those in authority. VRCCT’s attorneys understand the dynamics of LGBTQ+ relationships, and will defend you from discrimination, public disclosure, and harassment. We can act as intermediary with police and others to ensure you are treated with the fairness and respect you deserve.
Title IX gives every student in all schools equal access to education. If a student is sexually assaulted or harassed at school, they have a right to be safe, to have an investigation of the offender, and to have the school make changes to assure the student has every educational opportunity available. If you are a victim of sexual assault on campus, VRCCT will guide and protect you during the college discipline process, which often is demeaning and traumatic for victims. The school may be more interested in avoiding publicity than in really helping you to obtain justice. We will work with you to present your report clearly and advise you on the obligations the school has to keep you safe, support you academically, and punish the offender.
Victim Advocates, counselors, and medical professionals are dedicated and essential resources available to victims, but they do not have the legal training to protect your privacy rights in court or to deal with employers, landlords, creditors, and schools. VRCC will aggressively defend your rights in all parts of your life, in court and outside it. We will work with you to help you keep your job, stay safe, and put the details of daily life back together. We understand your special needs and questions.
Fighting for You in Criminal Court
When a case goes to criminal court, victims have constitutional rights to: be treated with fairness and respect, be safe, restitution, and address judges and prosecutors about the case. Court victim advocates can do only so much. They have no power to protect the victim’s privacy, or to seek court action if a victim’s rights are denied. Public legal resources for victims are linked to the criminal justice process, and are available only to victims who have reported to police and who have had their cases accepted for prosecution.
Prosecutors and court victim advocates care about the victims of crime, but they are unable to personally represent the victim and all the interests at stake in a court case. These government employees cannot address cyber-bullying. They cannot protect your right to keep medical, counseling, and school records out of court. They cannot keep the offender or his attorney from making details of your life public. VRCCT will fight for you to limit invasions of your privacy.
Contact the Team
VRCCT’s mailing address is P.O. Box 631, Wallingford, CT 06492.
Call their office phone at 203-350-3515 or email a staff member directly.