The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and its Crime Victim Services Commission (CVSC) division has launched a statewide ad campaign today to raise awareness about the compensation program available to victims of physical crimes.
Michigan’s compensation program helps pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost earnings, funeral bills or financial support for eligible victims if they suffer physical injury as a direct result of a crime. Program costs are paid entirely by criminal fines and not by Michigan taxpayers.
“Our goal is to educate the public about our Crime Victim Services compensation program so that we can assure that we are protecting the health, wellness, and safety of our citizens,” said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. “Michigan residents who are physically injured in a crime have a place to turn. The Crime Victim Services Program is there for them to help people heal, move forward and survive an unfortunate and in some cases, a devastating, ordeal.”
More than 20 million Americans are victims of crime each year, and each crime affects many more, including families, friends and communities. CVSC has provided services, which include compensation benefits, victim assistance, victim rights and Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (SAFE Response), to more than 300,000 residents last fiscal year. In 2009-2010, CVSC received 1,663 cases and paid $5 million in claims. In 2010-2011, CVSC received 1,535 cases and paid $4.9 million in cases.
The ad campaign features two 30-second public services announcements (PSAs) and extended YouTube videos in which two actual sexual and physical assault victims share their story about how they survived, and how CVSC helped pay for the care and services they needed. The PSAs will begin airing the first week of April in most major markets statewide including Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Marquette.
The campaign also features posters affixed on the exterior and interior of public transportation buses in Flint and Detroit, and in more than 80 restaurants, bars and other businesses throughout the Detroit area. For more information about CVSC in Michigan and to view the PSAs, visit www.michigan.gov/crimevictims.