Losing a loved one to crime may be one of the most painful and shocking experiences you can go through. It also means that you may need to deal with the justice process for many years following the crime.
The Victims of Crime Helpline can provide advice and support during this difficult time and connect you with services as you need them. You can use this website to learn more about the justice system in Victoria.
What is homicide?
A homicide occurs when a person is killed unlawfully. It covers situations where it can be proved that an offender intended to kill the person (murder) or where that cannot be proved (manslaughter).
It can also cover situations where a death is caused by culpable driving of a vehicle or workplace negligence.
If someone threatens to kill another person or behaves in a way that makes them think they will harm them, this can also be a crime.
Charges related to homicide
Depending on the circumstances, an offender may be charged with different offences such as:
- culpable driving.
If physical violence is threatened, the charges can include:
- threats to kill
- threats to inflict serious injury.
Free support across Victoria
The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 is available every day from 8am to 11pm to provide advice and support to anyone who has lost a loved one or family member to homicide in Victoria.
The helpline can also help people who are experiencing difficulty and need support after being a witness to a homicide.
When you contact the helpline, a Victims Support Officer can discuss your situation with you and advise on assistance and support services you can access.
The helpline may also be able to organise a support worker from the Victims Assistance Program who can:
- organise counselling, transport and medical services
- help you communicate with police
- assist with managing disruptions to work and study by letting people know what has happened
- assist with applying for financial assistance
- provide options for managing your home and personal security, if they have been affected by the crime.
Understanding the traumatic effects of crime
Losing a loved one to violent crime is a frightening and traumatic experience. Witnesses who see someone hurt or killed can also be deeply affected, even if they do not know the victim.
Everyone's response is different, but it can be helpful to understand the common feelings and physical reactions people have and what to expect.
On this website, you can learn more about:
- common emotional and physical reactions to stressful events like crimes
- information about living with grief
- suggestions to help you with recovery
- how to best support a family member or friend
- how to help a child who has been affected by crime.
Whether it is just after the crime or you are dealing with ongoing effects on your health and wellbeing, counselling is available. The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 can connect you to services that can help.
Help to understand the justice process
The Victims of Crime Helpline can answer your questions about:
- the justice process and what to expect
- getting information about the court case
- giving evidence as a witness and support that is available for you if you need to go to court
- preparing a Victim Impact Statement to tell the court how the crime affected you
- getting information from the Victims Register about the offender if they are sentenced to prison.
You can learn more about homicide and the justice process below.
Report a violent crime
If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime is occurring , please call police on Triple Zero (000). You can also go to a police station to report a crime.
You can also contact your local police station to report non-urgent situations such as:
- an incident that happened in the past
- threats of harm where there is no immediate danger.
You can learn more about reporting a crime to police.
Services for counselling and bereavement support
24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
Provides a specialist bereavement service for individuals, children and families who need assistance following the death of someone close to them, including face-to-face counselling and support groups.
Anonymous telephone counselling service providing support to people who are experiencing loss and grief.
The Compassionate Friends Victoria
Supporting parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents after the death of a child at any age.
Coroners Court of Victoria
For information about a coroner’s investigation you can contact the Coroners Court.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) Legal Help service provides free general legal information over the phone and by chat online.
Victoria’s health and safety regulator and manager of Victoria’s workers compensation scheme (WorkCover). If the death happened while the person was performing work duties, you may be entitled to make a claim.