Victim Services

Victim-Witness Program

The Victim-Witness program exists to help you understand your part in the criminal justice system and to help the system take your needs into consideration whenever possible. The Victim-Witness Coordinator can:

Keep you informed of the progress of your case
Accompany you if you have go to court
Help you receive restitution from the defendant
Help you get back property that has been held in evidence
Inform you of your rights as a victim

If you have a case pending, please keep in touch with us. We need to have your current address and phone number.

You may experience some of these feelings after you have been victimized:

  • A sense of violation
  • Anger and frustration
  • Increased fear
  • A feeling of loss of control over your life
  • A loss of trust in other people

All of these feelings are natural responses to the trauma of victimization. Many victims share these responses. You can speed your recovery by keeping in touch with your feelings and talking about them. For information on counseling and other local victim services or preventative measures you can take to help reduce the risk of being victimized again, or just for a listening ear, call the Victim-Witness Assistance Program.

Plymouth County Courthouse
215 4th Ave SE
Le Mars, Iowa 51031

Telephone: (712) 546-5019
Fax: (712) 546-5031

Heidi Tritz
Victim Witness Coordinator

Every Year:

  • 37 million Americans become victims
  • $450 billion is lost to personal crime
  • $25 billion is spent by the criminal justice system 

What is I.O.V.A.?

If you have been a victim, know someone who has been or are concerned about victim rights, the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance (I.O.V.A) is here for you. I.O.V.A. is an organization of crime victims, victim advocates, concerned citizens and concerned agencies. Established in 1983, I.O.V.A. works to address victim issues in Iowa. I.O.V.A. accomplishes this purpose by:

  • Advocating for short and long term changes in the criminal and civil justice system to better meet the needs of victims, survivors and witnesses.
  • Educating professionals to provide more sensitive services to victims, survivors and witnesses.
  • Advocating for the development and continued improvement of victim services in Iowa.
  • Providing forums for crime victims and witnesses to voice their concerns and grievances.

The Right to Victim Restitution:

  • At sentencing, an offender can be ordered to pay victim restitution. Restitution means payment of crime related expenses to a victim by an offender.
  • Victims must submit all out-of-pocket expenses to the county attorney's office and the county attorney shall request that the offender be ordered to pay restitution.
  • Since 1997, judges are required to order offenders to pay $150,000 to the estate of a victim killed as a result of a crime. This amount is to be ordered beyond the restitution ordered to victims for out-of-pocket expenses. 

The Right to a Victim Impact Statement:

At the time of sentencing, a victim or survivor has the right to submit a victim impact statement to the court. This statement may be presented in person or in writing.

  • The statement affords victims the opportunity to publicly state the effects of crime on themselves and their families. This statement is not offered to determine guilt.
  • A victim may seek the assistance of advocates or survivors when preparing and presenting the victim impact statement.

Statewide Victim Resources

Iowa Attorney General's Office
Crime Victim Assistance Division
100 Court Avenue, Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(800) 373-5044
Crime Victim Assistance Division website

Iowa Coalition Against
Sexual Assault (Iowa CASA)
2603 Bell Avenue #102
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
(515) 244-7424
(800) 284-7821
Iowa CASA website

Iowa Coalition Against
Domestic Violence (ICADV)
2603 Bell Avenue #102
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
(515) 244-8028
(800) 942-0333
opens in a new windowICADV website

Iowa Statewide Domestic
Abuse Hotline
(800) 942-0333

Iowa Statewide Sexual
Abuse Hotline
(800) 284-7821

Iowa Department of
Human Services
Child & Dependant Adult Abuse
24-Hour Hotline
(800) 362-2178