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Victim/Witness Services Bureau

The responsibility for bringing legal action involving crimes committed in Erie County rests with the District Attorney's Office. Once a crime is reported and the accused arrested, our office, representing the People of the State of New York, begins criminal proceedings against the defendant. You, as the victim of the crime, become a witness for the People. You do not have to hire a lawyer. Our Assistant District Attorneys prosecute the case.

Testifying in court can be a stressful experience for anyone. As a victim of a crime, your role in the prosecution of the defendant is to relate the details of the crime to the best of your ability. By understanding basic information about courts proceedings and your part as a victim/witness, you will know what to expect, feel more knowledgeable and more secure when called upon to testify.

Our Victim/Witness Services Bureau can provide an experienced victim advocate to accompany you to all court proceedings. Victim/Witness Services staff can help explain what will happen at each step in the prosecution. 

Most importantly, Victim/Witness Services staff offer support and help in dealing with the feelings you may experience as a result of testifying about your case. This service is free and available to all victims and witnesses of crime.

About Victim/Witness Services Bureau

Tina Pilkey, Chief of the Victim/Witness Services Bureau

Victim/Witness Bureau
25 Delaware Avenue, 6th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 858-4640

Since 1984, the Erie County District Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Bureau has provided comprehensive, supportive services to all types of crime victims, witnesses and their family members. Services are typically provided from arrest onward, however, limited services are available to victims where no arrest has been made.

Trained Victim/Witness staff assess the needs of each victim and provide assistance accordingly. Additionally, specially trained staff exist for victims of serious violent felony offenses, homicide survivors, vehicular crimes, adult sexual assault and, child physical and sexual abuse. Bilingual services are available to Spanish speaking victims.

The Victim/Witness Bureau has developed a holistic approach regarding crime victim assistance, from direct services provided to victims, community presentations regarding the program, training of law enforcement officers and criminal justice practitioners, and through active participation in organizations whose efforts result in improved treatment of victims in Erie County, Western New York and New York State. The bureau recruits volunteers from the community and student interns from local colleges, universities and high schools to assist staff with these initiatives.

The Victim/Witness Bureau is funded primarily through a grant from the New York State Office of Victim Services and funding from Erie County.

More Information on Victim/Witness Services

Advocacy Services

Crime Victims Rights

Crime Victims Compensation 

BE SAFE Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Program

Trauma & Healing

Resources & Referrals