More victims of crime will be able to access financial compensation under new laws but a move to remove caps on counselling sessions has been rejected.
Reforms passed through parliament last week replace the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal with an administrative Financial Assistance Scheme.
Under the scheme, victims no longer need to participate in hearings or face perpetrators as part of their compensation application.
Victim-survivors of upskirting, grooming and image-based abuse will also be eligible to receive financial support for the first time.
Victim Support Minister Natalie Hutchins said the reforms were the most significant change in 50 years for victims of crime injured as a result of an act of violence.
"For many victims, going to a court-based tribunal exacerbates their trauma and far too many victims give up or just do not apply for the help they need," she said.
"We're fixing that by giving them the support they need to recover."
The laws are expected to start operating in the second half of next year.
But Member for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley said important changes were voted against.
He said the Justice Party put forward amendments which would have seen caps removed in assisting victims of crime access to counselling sessions.
Adult applicants are usually awarded the first five hours of counselling with additional expenses granted at the discretion of the tribunal.
It's understood financial assistance is capped at about $50,000, which covers everything from mental health to medical treatment.
Mr Grimley said the amendments received support from the opposition and most crossbench members in the legislative council.
But it was not enough to secure their passage through the chamber.
The vote was 18 v 18 with the state government, Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick and Greens MP Samantha Ratnam voting against the amendments.
"Guarantees are hard to come by in politics but I can guarantee you that no Victorian wants to be a victim of crime," Mr Grimley said.
"Unfortunately, some will become a victim of crime, and in the majority of cases it is through no fault of their own. Derryn Hinch's Justice Party want to see victims of crime access uncapped counselling services to assist with their trauma recovery.
"We put a large emphasis on mental health, and support for people going through tough times."
Former Warrnambool sexual assault survivor Jacinta Welch knows all to well the difficulties of accessing financial assistance through Victims of Crime.
She has spent years in counselling after being sexually abused when she was aged between 10 and 13.
Ms Welch recently took her abuser to court and while she believes justice was served, she felt unsupported through the process.
She accessed Victim of Crime's five free counselling sessions before being allocated another counsellor at Geelong's Centre Against Sexual Assault.
But that support ceased in the lead up to the court proceedings.
Ms Welch submitted an application 12 months ago for out-of-pocket costs for five years of counselling as well as ongoing sessions.
The application is yet to be reviewed.
"I really needed support throughout (the court process) as well as going forward," she said.
"To be waiting 12 months for an application to be reviewed is simply not good enough.
"I haven't received enough from Victims of Crime. It certainly needs to improve."
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
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