Victim Services & Assistance

The Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) provides immediate intervention, support, information, referrals and other assistance to victims of crime, witnesses and/or their families including incidents of non-criminal, stark misfortune. Please call us if you need assistance.

Colorado Victim Rights Act

The purpose of the Colorado Victim Rights Act (C.R.S. Section 24-4.1-302.5) is to preserve and protect a victim's rights to justice and due process and to ensure the justice system pursue the rights of victims with equal diligence as rights guaranteed to criminal defendants.
The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of this state guarantee rights to the victims of the following crimes:
  • Murder in the first or second degree
  • Manslaughter
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Assault in the first, second or third degree
  • Vehicular assault
  • Menacing
  • First or second degree kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Sexual assault on a child
  • Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust
  • Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist
  • Robbery, Aggravated Robbery & Aggravated Robbery of controlled substances
  • First degree burglary
  • Incest and Aggravated Incest
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual exploitation of children
  • Trafficking in children
  • Certain crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles
  • Domestic Violence crimes
  • Stalking
  • Invasion of privacy for sexual gratification
  • A bias-motivated crime
  • Careless driving that results in the death of another person
  • Failure to stop at the scene of an accident where the accident results in the death of another person
  • Any criminal attempt, criminal conspiracy, criminal solicitation, accessory to a crime involving any of the crimes specified in this subsection
  • Retaliation against or tampering with a witness or victim, Intimidating a witness or a victim and Aggravated Intimidation of a witness or a victim
  • Retaliation against a judge or juror
  • Indecent exposure
  • Violation of a protection order issued under section 18-1-1001, C.R.S.

Victims of the crimes listed above are guaranteed the following rights and may be entitled to special services and even financial assistance (for more information, download our Victim Rights Brochure).  If the victim is deceased or incapacitated, these rights are guaranteed to the victim’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other or other lawful representative:

Personal Treatment / Privacy
  • Treatment with fairness, respect and dignity.
  • Information about steps that may be taken if subjected to intimidation or harassment
  • Upon request of the victim, correctional officials will keep confidential addresses, phone numbers, and places of employment or other personal information of the victim or the victim’s immediate family.

Case Information / Legal Proceedings
  • Information on all charges filed and assurance of swift and fair resolution of the proceeding.
  • Input into decisions regarding plea bargains and to be present and have input at sentencing and parole hearings.
  • Information regarding restitution or civil remedies.
  • Release of property within five (5) days after the case is settled and the property is no longer needed as evidence.
  • Notification of all case dispositions, including appeals.
  • Timely notification of all court dates.
  • Secured waiting area when available.

Community Resources / Employment Assistance

  • Information regarding community resources and other information that will assist recovery.
  • Assistance with employment problems resulting from being the victim of a crime.

Criminal Convictions, Release, Etc.

  • Notification of any change in the status or the release from custody of the accused.
  • The institution where the person is incarcerated or otherwise being held.
  • The projected release date of the person.
  • Any release of the person including furlough, work release or community corrections in advance of release.
  • Date and location of scheduled parole hearings.
  • Any escape of the person from a correctional facility or program.
  • Any release or discharge from confinement of the person and conditions of that release.
  • The death of the person while in a correctional facility or program.

Victim Resources

The Denver Center for Crime Victims (DCCV) provides culturally and linguistically responsive programs, health promotion and crime prevention education. Our services are broad, supporting survivors of simple theft, domestic and sexual violence, to suicide/homicide survivors. We provide crisis intervention, case management, financial assistance, client relocation, integrated physical and mental health programs and more, all without financial cost to our clients.
The Victim Services Network (VSN) is a collaborative network that connects and supports agencies and communities to provide innovative, seamless and integrated services to victims of crime in Denver.
SafeHouse serves victims of domestic violence and their children through both an emergency shelter and non-residential Counseling / Advocacy Center. All of the women and children at SafeHouse have access to a full range of services including individual and group counseling, advocacy and safety planning.
Latina SafeHouse works to meet the needs of Latina domestic violence victims by removing barriers through culturally, linguistically competent services, education and advocacy.

Other Special Programs

The Victim Assistance Unit, in conjunction with the Cold Case Investigations Unit, has created a Cold Case

Victim Program that employs a full-time Cold Case Program Coordinator. The VAU Cold Case Program Coordinator works side-by-side with Cold Case Detectives and serves as the primary point of contact for victims, co-victims and family members identified in unsolved sexual assaults and unresolved homicides.  She is on-call and available to respond to meet with victims and family members, to assist in the identification of resources and additional assistance as renewed activity begins in these cases.  She is also available as a point of contact for victims and families who would like updates and information in their cases for as long as they remain unsolved or unresolved. 

Homicide Cold Case Investigations Booklet (PDF) 
Sexual Assault Cold Case Investigations Booklet (PDF)

If you would like more immediate assistance regarding support or resources to aid in the recovery process related to an unresolved murder or sexual assault, please contact:

Sarah Chaikin
Cold Case Program Coordinator, VAU

720-913-6677

or 

Families Of Homicide Victims & Missing Persons (FOHVAMP)
P.O. Box 145
Pine, Colorado 80470
303-838-1337
www.unresolvedhomicides.org

The Senior Companion Program is a service offered through the Victim Assistance Unit to elderly victims of crime from throughout the City of Denver. The program is free of charge and is designed to provide direct services (i.e. transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, assistance with errands) and in-home companionship to elderly and disabled adult victims of crime reported to the Denver Police Department. 

Through this program, we are able to provide:

  • Trips to the grocery store
  • Medical appointments
  • Additional community support services 
  • In-home companionship on a regular or as-need basis


 For more information, call (720) 913-6035.


The Victim Assistance Unit is currently recruiting volunteers to join our after-hours team.  For more information, contact:

Frankie Rachell-Bruce, VAU Deputy Director
(720) 913-6611

Sexual Assault Survivors: Your Voices are Needed! The University of Denver Traumatic Stress Studies Group is conducted a study, called The Women's Health Project. The project invites women (including trans women) who are 18 or older; experienced any type of sexual assault in the last year; and told someone (such as a counselor, police officer, advocate, health provider) about the assault for the first time in the last 4 months. The researchers will ask you to tell them what helps and doesn't help after a sexual assault. The things learned will be used to try to improve services for women coping with sexual assault. For more information, download the brochure.

Victim Notification (VineLink)

VINE is a National Victim Notification Network created to keep victims informed about the custody status of their offenders. Victims of crime can use the telephone or Internet to search for information, or register to receive notifications about about their offender's custody status.

Contact Us

Victim Assistance Unit
1331 Cherokee Street
Denver, CO 80224

Phone: (720) 913-6035 
Hours: Mon - Fri, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat, Sun, & Holidays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We are on-call and available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to provide crisis intervention and services to victims of crime or incidents of non-criminal, stark misfortune. 

Victim Compensation

If you are a victim of a crime that involves physical injury, depending upon the circumstances you may qualify for financial assistance from the Victim Compensation Fund. For more information, call (720) 913-9253.

See also the Denver District Attorney's Office victim compensation page for additional resources.

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