Victim Assistance Coordinator
Shirley Bruner, VAC
As a victim of crime, how may we help you?
The experience of a crime victim can be a scary and confusing time; often victims do not know where to begin to obtain information. Please know, as a victim of violent crime, or close family member of a deceased victim, you have rights within the criminal justice system. You have a right to participate and be involved in this process. You are not alone.
The criminal justice process
Our Victim Advocates exist to help Kaufman County victims of violent crime navigate the complex criminal justice process with compassion and competence. The victim advocate can help you in the following ways:
- Inform you of your rights as set forth in the law
- Assist with safety planning and make appropriate referrals, as needed
- Assist with applying for Crime Victims’ Compensation
- Assist with completing the Victim Impact Statement
- Assist with protective orders and other paperwork, as needed
- Accompany you to meetings with your prosecutor and/or to court
The victim advocate assists victims in cases of sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, trafficking of persons, injury to a child, elderly or disabled individual, family violence, close family members of victims in death cases, and assists victims in property crimes.
Information, notification, participation and protection
You have the right to be informed about the criminal case in which you or a loved one is a victim. This includes receiving written information about the case, information about the process, court settings, plea arrangements and/or trial. You have the right to speak to the victim advocate and the prosecutor assigned to your case.
Crime Victim’s Compensation
As a victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible to apply for Crime Victims’ Compensation. This program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General. They can help pay for certain medical expenses, counseling, funeral arrangements and in some cases, rental and moving expenses. If you would like to apply you can request an application by calling 1-800-983-9933 or visiting on the web at www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/index.shtml.
Texas VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday)
If the defendant in your case is arrested and booked into the Kaufman County Jail you can register to be notified should they bond out. Texas VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a program through the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office that is designed to inform victims about the defendant’s jail status. You can access this automated system to register by calling 1-877-894-8463 (TX4-VINE) or visit online at www.vinelink.com.
Community Partners assisting victims
The victim advocates maintain collaborations with community partners below to more effectively assist victims:
Kaufman County Adult Probation
Kaufman County Juvenile Probation
Child Protective And Adult Protective Service
Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center
Kaufman County Children’s Emergency Shelter
Kaufman Christian Help Center
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
Lone Star Casa, Inc.
Bikers Against Child Abuse
BACA – Caddo Creek Chapter