Victims and Survivors of Psychopaths

from victim to survivor

Victim Rights

with 17 comments

Lawmakers and legislators have slowly begun to respond to the need for legal protection for both victims and witnesses of crime.  There are four key pieces of legislation that directly affect victims and witnesses of crime, with this legislation providing a core set of basic victim rights:


          The Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982

          The Victims of Crime Act of 1984

          The Victims and Restitution Act of 1992

          The Violence Against Women Act of 1994

The four key pieces of legislation are summarized as follows:

The right to protection from intimidation and harassment.

A victim or witness has the right to protection from intimidation and harassment from the offender or the offenders family or associates.  This right may also be extended to the victim’s family members.  Although not limited to the following, protection includes:  court ordered injunctions for protection, residence relocation, police escorts to and from court proceedings, closed courtrooms to those not a party to the case, separate and secure waiting areas away from the accused, and witness stands that are shielded from the direct view of the accused.

The right to attend and/or participate in criminal justice proceedings.

A victim has the right to attend the trail, sentencing, and any parole hearings.  If the victim does not wan to attend, some states allow the victim to give an oral or written statement to be considered by the  court of parole board.  Increasingly, victims have been given the right to attend bail hearings, pre-trial release hearings, entry of plea agreements, post-trial relief hearings, and probation or pardon hearings.

The right to notifications of the stages and proceedings in the criminal process

The victim and/or victim’s family has the right to notifications of scheduled criminal proceedings and their outcomes.  This includes the right to advance notice of future proceedings where the victim has the right to attend and/or make a statement.  The victim must also be notified when hearings have been rescheduled or canceled.

The right to notification of other legal remedies.

Victims may have additional rights such as the right to collect witness fees for their testimony and the right to sue the offender for monetary damages in civil court.

The right to a speedy trial.

Victims have a right to a speedy trial, however, the speedy trial provision can also be used by the defense to rush the prosecution before the prosecution is fully prepared. 

The right to confidentiality of records.

If a case deals with sexual assault or rape, or if the case involves a juvenile, police and court records are not public records.

The right to notification of employer and creditors.

At the victims request, the State Attorney’s Office or the Sheriff’s Office can inform the victim’s employer that the victim’s cooperation in the Office’s investigation and prosecution may necessitate the victim’s absence from work.  They can also notify creditor’s that a victim may temporarily be unable to continue payments as a result of a crime.

The right to prompt return on the victims personal property seized from the offender as evidence.

The right to availability of the offender’s profits from the sale of stories of their crimes.

The right to victim’s compensation and restitution.

State victim compensation programs are set up to help victims with financial costs incurred as the result of a crime.  To qualify, the victims usually have to have suffered from physical harm and/or tangible loss, and usually states require the victim to cooperate fully with law enforcement and prosecution.  Restitution to make the offender pay for financial loss of the victim is ordered by the court, or in some states by the paroling authority.  In general, neither compensation nor restitution includes punitive damages for injury or loss of the victim, and this must usually be pursued in civil court.


In addition, some states have enacted “victim’s bill of rights”, or have passed constitutional amendments regarding victim’s rights.  Copies of such legislation can be found in a law library or in your Attorney General’s Office, local prosecutor’s office, or law enforcement agencies. 


Written by victimsofpsychopaths

January 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm

17 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Umm.. The courts are a joke. I am convinced the system is just designed to take notes and exploit survivors, but no financial help to relocate, rehabilitate and provide a safe haven. NO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTERS PLEASE…ok..



    January 29, 2009 at 5:09 am




    January 29, 2009 at 5:12 am




    January 29, 2009 at 5:14 am

  4. Although progress is slow, at least some attention has begun to be given to victims and their rights. But I also view the police and courts as virtually useless when dealing with a psychopath.
    However, I will say that a restraining order may be useful in dealing with a “norm”, but as you said it can also get you killed, even when dealing with a non psychpathic person. he main advantage it has is starting a legal paper trail. However, what good is a legal paper trail if you end up dead? When dealing with a a psychopath who has already shown signs he or she is willing to be violent, I have to agree that running like hell and hiding is the better option.
    And just for the record, if you call the police on a psychopath during a domestic violence incident, don’t count on the psychopath being the one to go to jail!


    February 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

  5. I have had personal relationships with two high functioning schizophrenics who both had advanced degrees, one a PhD. After receiving all the assistance they needed from me, they both turned on me. It’s what some can do talking behind closed doors because they appear to be normal and effective that can’t be calculated.

    Robin A. Albright

    March 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm

  6. Sunshine is actually my psychopathic stalker. Please read his comments accordingly. He is trying to manipulate me. Good luck to everybody dealing with a psychopath. Psychopaths are relentless!


    April 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm

  7. Sunshine just had a car honk at me. I don’t know if he’s growing on me or what, but sometimes I actually laugh at his shanannigans… It’s actually quite rare. Enjoy what little you can if you’re unfortunate enough to have a psychopath in your life. He or she can take away a lot — everything actually. But don’t let him destroy your spirit!!! You have to keep on… Sadly… TRY to keep smiling, or at least to smile once in a while… And mean it if at all possible. You deserve to mean it! Good luck everybody!

    Hare’s Without Conscience and Hare and Babiak’s Snakes in Suits are good reads. Also consider “The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain” by James Blair, Derek Mitchell and Karina Blair. It discusses instrumental aggression and may give you an idea as to why what’s happening to you is going on… The psychopath may actually be trying to accomplish something. Although it hurts like hell, he or she may be trying to get someplace (albeit in the slowest and most painful way possible). Cleckley’s “The Mask of Sanity” is good too… You can download it for free!

    Hang in there victims!!! Hopefully we’ll all be survivors in time!!!


    April 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm

  8. As a victim of a psychopath myself, I totally agree withvictimsofpsychopaths. I was wrongfully arrested due to one. We need to push for more education on psychopaths because even law enforcement clearly does not have a clue about the characteristics of one. All they know is they create drama and that is what they live for – while an innocent victim is suffering for it. I am currently helping out on another case and need to know how to request a psychiatric evaluation…


    April 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm

  9. @Hope
    Under what circumstances are you asking for a psychiatric evaluation? Are there children involved?

    It will be impossible to get one done on the psychopath, just because you want one.

    I have been involed in a divorce with what believed to be one of the most successful psychopaths at fooling the Court. In my case, the Court refuses to consider psychopathy, even though there has been over 20 hearings because my ex has refused to negotiate and she has paid her attorney over $750,000 to keep me from my own children. As a result, I have no visitation with my children and I owe my ex-wife over $180,000 in legal fees, and I have been to jail three times in a year. Oh and her father is a convicted murderer who escaped the death penalty after he had Charles Harrelson kill his best friend because of heroin my ex-father in law was trafficking from Mexico.

    My ex-father in law went on to over 120+ lawsuits in his life, bullying and manipulating others. All of this was brought to the attention of Dr. Stanton Samenow, who witheld the information from the Court and called only referred to the facts as ‘allegations’.

    Do not expect help if you start accusing someone of having psychopathy. You will immediately become the suspicious one. The best she can do it to get as far away from the psychopath as possible. No contact whatsoever. It is not worth the emotional toll you will experience if you try to seek a legal remedy.


    June 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm

  10. @Chris. My story is very similar to yours. I am hoping (and will continue looking) for help from good people who will shine the light of truth onto this growing problem. The courts, the police, and Child Protective Services (what a sad joke they are) are all either too lazy, too stupid, or too scared to deal with these sick individuals in a way that would be better for our society. Our stories MUST be told.

    Ken Rynning

    January 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm

  11. I think the only answers can come from the victims, who can help each other. No one else is going to get it, or know the extents to which protection and rehabilitation are necessary. The agencies whose job it is to ‘help’ and ‘protect’ are just as or more likely to have been infiltrated and dominated by sociopaths than others. And you know that the idealist colleagues with whom they’ve surrounded themselves will NEVER catch on, until they themselves are victimized. I have left a hell-hole of a family, then one sociopathic dominated organization after another, only to land in a new one each time. Some of us are natural targets for sociopaths simply because they know we can see them for what they are. I cannot find a way to break the chain now, and still be able to pay the bills. BUT IF I EVER DO, and if I ever get strong again, and figure out how to live free of sociopathic abuse, I will make it my life’s goal to help other targets make safer, smoother transitions from their pits of hell into normal life. Violated targets need connections to safe places of rest and basic comforts, to new starts, and to people who understand why they’ve become so utterly weakened and devastated (i.e. that the targets themselves aren’t fundamentally weak and hopeless, they’ve just been tricked or forced into carrying the baggage of the sociopaths who are).

    Finding a way

    January 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  12. My cousin is being victimized by her adult psychotic son. The damage is astonishing. He’s set up those who see through him by accusing them of theft and and mayhem – thereby convincing his mother that her friends and associates are actually criminals. He accuses others of being thieves, compulsive liars and psychopaths. He creates disorder by sabotaging cars and personal equipment. He sets up “accidents” within his victim pool. He stole thousands of dollars from his mother while she was grieving from the death of her own mother, then accused her closest friends. She believed him and abandoned them. He has kidnapped two underage relatives. He is a bigamist who has poisoned his ex-wives. He has poisoned my husband. He stalks his victims. Every time he’s caught in a lie he learns from the experience.

    I in the process of taking over my cousin’s business. I believe that he is beginning to target my husband and, to a lesser degree, me in order to nullify us. He might accuse us of stealing from her or damaging her property. Is there any way I can counter his behavior and protect myself while continuing to obtain a job I desperately need? I know – an almost fruitless question but I want to know if anyone has a creative idea I can pursue. I feel like I’m trying to counter Hitler.

    Alistair - Fort Davis

    April 4, 2012 at 5:09 am

  13. Help me.

    Lisa Guill

    October 23, 2016 at 8:16 am

  14. After my experience. I will never support a male in any authoritative role again. I will now try to work to change laws. Anyone who has been through this. You love your children. But other men seem to pat each other on back or sweep under rug.

    Lisa Guill

    October 23, 2016 at 8:23 am

  15. My ex actually bullied other people into attacking me. Weve been to court. Social service was no help. My son committed suicide. His father actually attacked him unprovoked infront of witnesses to the point my son had a siezure. This man beat me broken bones etc every three months like clock work. I tried to protect my children. The first time i seen it with my oldest son my oldest son was 16 an adult in laws eyes and my son had love hate relationship with his father. My son would not press charges against sob. My son is dead now. The bastard is still harrassing me everyway he can. Its been six years since i got the nerve to get restraining order. Your right no justice.

    Lisa Guill

    October 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

  16. Please be aware if you were married to a psychopath and are not fortunate enough to have obtained a divorce they still have rights over you if you become medically incapacitated. Yes they can pull the plug on you.

    Lisa Guill

    October 23, 2016 at 9:39 am

  17. Been here – lived this – “died” this. There has been a fundamental change inside of me because of victimization. I suffered almost three years of profound Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I had to get Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), developed for war related casualties. NO ONE helped me – I had to discover EVERY SINGLE method of treatment on my own plus: stalking, harrassment, intimidation, shunning, abandonment, betrayal, no financial support, relocation out of my home state, re-victimization, loss of my psychological identity. Did I, as a victim of a violent sexual assault by a mentally ill, malicious, dirty cop, friends and his corrupt department, deserve this? Thirteen years and counting – and I will NEVER be who I was. That is MY experience. I’m writing a book to offer emotional community to assist those who have “lost” their lives like I did – because they’re out there, with no support. You can’t ask the victims who’ve committed suicide, or worse, because of crimes like these. Try asking victims like Drew Peterson’s missing wife. My issues go far beyond the standard victimization – BUT, if nothing is done to remedy the basic crime, we get NOWHERE. Change starts with that single step.

    Allistair Mitchell

    October 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: