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Michigan Crime Victims – Guide to Resources & Assistance

Michigan Crime Victims - Resources and Assistance

Posted 8 years ago by Jim Titus

Victims of crime in Michigan and other states often feel lost and helpless. They may feel afraid for their lives or their futures, have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, worry about lack of money they urgently need, and may have lost their friends or family and have lost their independence due to the crime that was committed. Basically they may feel they have nowhere to go, but there are many community resources available to help Michigan crime victims.

Michigan Legal Help

The Michigan Legal Help website was created to help people who have to handle simple civil legal questions without a lawyer.

The site offers a variety of self-help tools, including information about family issues such as divorce and child custody; protection from abuse, such as stalking, domestic violence and personal protection orders; housing, such as landlord/tenant matters; and individual rights, such as emancipation of a minor, among other resources to answer legal questions.

In the event that a lawyer is needed to help answer legal questions or provide other assistance to Michigan crime victims, it also provides links to help residents find a lawyer.

First Step

According to its website, the mission of First Step is to eliminate both domestic and sexual violence and to provide comprehensive services to individuals and families impacted by these crimes.

It provides temporary emergency housing for victims of crimes when home is no longer a safe option, a 24-hour help line, information and referrals, domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs, children’s advocacy and prevention programs, assault response, and community education.

Services are provided throughout western Wayne County and the Downriver area of Wayne County. First Step offices are located in the cities of Wayne, Redford and Plymouth.

The phone number for the 24-hour help line is 734-722-6800 or toll-free 888-453-5900.

Turning Point

Victims of domestic violence in Macomb County can find help at Turning Point, based in Mount Clemens, Michigan.

Turning Point’s mission is to provide programs and resources that enable survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault regain control of their lives.

Among other resources, Turning Point offers shelter services as well as counseling services for children, teen and adult survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The 24-hour crisis line at Turning Point is 586-463-6990.


HAVEN seeks to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault across Oakland County and the surrounding communities by empowering survivors through advocacy and social change.

Based in Pontiac, Michigan, HAVEN also provides a shelter, counseling, support services, court advocacy, assault response, support groups, and community education.

The 24-hour crisis and support line is 248-334-1274 or toll-free 877-922-1274.

Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission

The Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission is a state agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. CVSC is in charge of funding and services for victims of a physical crime.

CVSC has four programs that serve and support crime victims including: Compensation, Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE), Victim Rights and Crime Victim Assistance (VOCA).

Crime victims in Michigan may contact the commission at 877-251-7373.

Crime Victim Foundation

The Crime Victim Foundation’s mission is to provide “last resort” assistance to Michigan crime victims who have an immediate and critical need and for whom no other financial resource is available. The Crime Victim Foundation is nonprofit and works solely for the purpose of helping those affected by crime.

Michigan’s Crime Victim Compensation Program, which is overseen by the Michigan Department of Community Health, was established to provide limited financial assistance to innocent people who receive bodily injury from the commission of a crime in Michigan and who incur un-reimbursable financial losses as a result of the injury.

The Michigan Legal System

Victims should understand the basic structure of the legal system in Michigan to educate themselves in general and also to overcome the possible hurdles that lie ahead.

District Courts

The lower courts in Michigan are known as district courts. There are 105 district courts in Michigan. The district courts handle most misdemeanor cases.

A misdemeanor is punishable by incarceration of up to one year in a county jail. Probation is granted as an alternative to persons who commit misdemeanors as opposed to serving time in jail.

District courts also handle arraignments for greater crimes that could be bound over to circuit court.

Circuit Courts

Circuit courts handle almost all felony trials. A felony is a crime that is punishable by one or more years in prison, including sentences of up to life in prison.

Michigan Court of Appeals

This court hears appeals from all lower branches of the judicial system. There are four appeals courts in Michigan. They are located in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Marquette.

Michigan Supreme Court

Located in Lansing, this is the highest court in the State of Michigan. It reviews cases that have been reviewed by the Michigan Court of Appeals and provides a ruling. The only body that can overturn a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States.

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