The Division of Law Enforcement & Safety provides reasonable, fair, and compassionate assistance to victims and witnesses of crime. The division is committed to the development, implementation, and maintenance of programs and activities that provide appropriate assistance to victims/witnesses.
What is a Victim?
'Victim' means a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as the result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime against him or her. The term 'victim' also includes the person's spouse, parent, child, or lawful representative of a crime victim who is deceased, who is a minor or who is incompetent or who was a homicide victim or who is physically or psychologically incapacitated.
Law Enforcement Victim Advocate Services Include:
- Restraining Orders
- Orders of Protections
- Housing Assistance
- Class Assistance
- Parking Assistance
- Victim Transportation
- No Contact Orders (USC Student Conduct)
- Court Preparation/Appearances
- SOVA Assistance
- Safety Plans
- Counseling Referrals
- Outside Agency Assist/Referrals
According to Article I, Section 24 of the Victims' Bill of Rights
A victim of a crime has the right to:
- Be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process, and to be informed of the victim's constitutional rights, provided by statute;
- Be reasonably informed when the accused or convicted person is arrested, released from custody or has escaped;
- Be informed of and present at any criminal proceedings which are dispositive of the charges where the defendant has the right to be present;
- Be informed of and be allowed to submit either a written oral statement at all hearings affecting bond or bail;
- Be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a plea or sentencing;
- Be reasonably protected from the accused or persons acting on his behalf throughout the criminal justice process;
- Confer with prosecution, after the crime against the victim has been changed, before the trial or before any disposition and informed of the disposition;
- Have reasonable access after the conclusion of the criminal investigation to all documents relating to the crime against the victim before trial;
- Receive prompt and full restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim's loss or injury including both adult and juvenile offenders;
- Be informed of any proceeding when any post-conviction action is being considered, and be present at any post-conviction hearing involving a post-conviction release decision;
- A reasonable disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case.
Harassment & Threats
If you are being harassed or threatened by the suspect or someone associated with the suspect, immediately report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement agency and notify the investigator handling your case. Take all threats seriously and implement risk reduction techniques into your daily routine.
Contact Victim Services for more information on a safety plan.
Cpl. Mary Winnington, USC Law Enforcement Victim Advocate
Cell Phone: 803-920-0302
In the interest of justice to all victims of crime whose injuries, pain, suffering and loss warrant our intervention and support, the State Office of Victim Assistance will:
- Practice a community- and victim-centered approach to proactively assist crime victims and their families in need
- Promote collaboration at all levels in order to restore justice to eligible crime victims who are in need of advocacy and financial assistance.
- Provide a network environment in which we work closely with victim service agencies and providers across the state to render advocacy, support, programs, services, information, referrals, training and technical assistance to better meet the needs of South Carolina's crime victims.
- Seek to ensure that South Carolina's crime victims receive top quality service at all levels of our criminal justice system by providing compensation to victims of crime who are eligible and meeting the educational, training, and professional needs of victim advocates, health care professionals, South Carolina schools, and victim service providers.
A victim of a crime that has suffered physical injury, psychological trauma or death of a family member as the result of a crime may be eligible for compensation benefits if the crime is reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency within 48 hours. A claim can be filed within 180 days of the crime. The victim must cooperate fully with all law enforcement agencies and not have been engaged in any illegal activity at the time of the crime.
For a copy of your USC Police Report call 803-777-5282.