Decade of service marked for office that puts victims of crime first

Media release
The agency that champions victims of crime in Western Australia has driven a reform agenda for the past 10 years to protect and enhance their rights and interests.
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Kati Kraszlan (left) and Jennifer Hoffman

Established in July 2013, the Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime provides policy advice and advocacy, liaises with other agencies, responds directly to concerns and complaints, and assists victims in navigating the criminal justice system.

Inaugural Commissioner Jennifer Hoffman established the Office and was succeeded by incumbent Commissioner Kati Kraszlan in 2017.

The Commissioner manages the Victim Offender Mediation Unit, the Victim Notification Register, homicide funeral assistance and expunging of historical homosexual convictions.

The Office set up the National Redress Scheme in WA for victims of institutional child sexual abuse, overseeing monetary payments, access to counselling and psychological care, and a direct personal response from the institution.

It was instrumental in facilitating laws that criminalise intimate image abuse, non-fatal strangulation and persistent family violence.

The Commissioner also reconvened the Attorney General’s Victims of Crime Reference Group, whose members give the Government valuable perspective and critical feedback.

“Over the past decade the Office has taken on greater responsibilities and become more influential,” Department of Justice Director General Dr Adam Tomison said.

“It is clear that the Commissioner and her team are providing essential services to a vulnerable group in the community,” Dr Tomison said.  

Current projects include considering specific laws against the family violence behaviour of coercive control, working on the State’s Sexual Violence Prevent and Response Strategy and reviewing the experience of sexual violence victims in the criminal justice system.

“Victims come to our Office seeking help and reassurance that their feelings are normal but also for most of them with an overwhelming desire to help other victims,” Ms Kraszlan said.

“The role of the Commissioner is to make sure that their voices are heard and that they are recognised and acknowledged,” she said.