I am a victim of crime. Who do I contact for support and assistance?
In accordance with §66(2) StPO (Strafprozessordnung, Code of Criminal Procedure), the Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice (Bundesministerium für Verfassung, Reformen, Deregulierung und Justiz) has entered into contracts with appropriate, established organisations, who will provide assistance to victims after verifying that the statutory conditions have been met. Details of these organisations can be found by clicking on the following link, where they have been sorted by federal state (Land): Victim support organisations
Victim support hotline
Federal Social Welfare Office (Sozialministeriumservice): 0043 158831 and general Victims’ Hotline: 0800 112 112 (or also European victim support helpline: 116 006)
Is victim support free?
What types of support can I receive from state services or authorities?
Victims of crime receive financial compensation in accordance with the provisions of the Victim Compensation Act (Verbrechensopfergesetz (VOG)), Federal Law Gazette (BGBl.) 288/1972.
Under the VOG, the procedure is the same for all applicants (Austrian and foreign nationals). This is an administrative procedure during which the authority has to establish the relevant facts and reach a decision on the assistance applied for. The applicant is required to cooperate with the procedure and provide the necessary information (including for the purpose of establishing the damage).
Applications under the VOG must be filed with the Federal Social Welfare Office, which also decides on them.
What types of support can I receive from non-governmental organisations?
The following are entitled to psychosocial and legal assistance:
- victims of a violent crime, sexual offence or dangerous threat, or victims whose personal dependence may have been exploited in the commission of such a deliberate criminal act;
- the spouse, life partner, first-degree relatives, brother, sister and other dependants of a person who died because of a crime, as well as other relatives who witnessed the death of a relative;
- victims of terrorist offences.
Upon request, these victims must be granted psychosocial and legal assistance, provided that this is necessary to safeguard their procedural rights, taking their personal involvement into account as far as possible. The victim support organisations themselves are responsible for assessing whether such assistance is ‘necessary’. Victims of a sexual offence who are under the age of 14 are always entitled to psychosocial assistance.
Within the context of psychosocial assistance, victims are prepared for the psychological stress of the proceedings, supported in dealing with their experiences (anxieties, despair, grief or anger) and also accompanied during hearings as part of the investigation or trial.
The purpose of legal support is to assist victims in asserting their rights within the framework of criminal proceedings. This is particularly useful and necessary if specific circumstances give rise to concerns that the victim’s rights will not be sufficiently respected during the proceedings. If the victim has suffered harm or damage as a result of the crime, the lawyer may claim compensation (e.g. for pain and suffering) on the victim’s behalf (if the victim has the status of a civil claimant).
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.