School navigation

National Crime Victim Law Institute

Protecting the Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence

October 07, 2014

NCVLI’s Legal Team provides legal technical assistance to attorneys and advocates in the form of legal research, writing, and case strategy every day. Here are a few highlights of recent work that impacts survivors of domestic violence: 
  • In a case in which the survivor’s husband shot her 14 times, defendant asserted an insanity defense and requested release of a report which contains information concerning the victim’s alleged mental health. The prosecutor fought to protect the information but defense counsel argued that the prosecutor lacked standing.  NCVLI is working to protect this victim’s rights. 
  • A victim’s attorney asked for assistance briefing a case in which her client, the protected party under a protection order (which was not a mutual order) has been charged for violating the protection order. 
  • Recognizing that there are a myriad of reasons that immigrant crime victims do not report criminal conduct to law enforcement and therefore do not access justice, NCVLI is teaming up with a partner victims’ rights organization to craft a user-friendly tip sheet to help these victims understand their rights as victims, including the rights of privacy and protection during reporting of crime. 
  • During voir dire (i.e., the process of questioning potential jurors and ultimately selecting a jury) invasive, personal questions may be asked of prospective jurors, including questions about prior victimizations. Unfortunately court practice does not always protect survivor privacy in these moments. NCVLI is crafting a legal memorandum to ensure the privacy and safety rights of survivors during this process.

If you are working on a case with victims’ rights issues and need help, click here to request legal technical assistance.