The New York State Office of Victim Services is now making it easier for crime victims to get the help they need.

A new website is being piloted in Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties. The website, launched this week, connects crime victims with information and free legal assistance.

“Victims often end up having a whole host of problems that stem from their victimization and that they don’t have anywhere to turn. We found that we’ve been doing a lot of work with male sexual assault survivors and they have told us they would prefer to use an online tool,” said Elizabeth Cronin, Director for the Office of Victim Services.

The website is the first of its kind for the state. By the end of next year, the screening tool and legal help directory will be available in the state’s 57 counties outside of New York City.

Through the website, victims are able to look up different kinds of legal help they may need, compensation, restitution and learn about rights as a crime victim.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn represents crime victims in court. His office provides similar services, assisting more than 4,000 victims a year.

Flynn says this website is just one more tool to show victims there is help out there and that they are supported.

“Victims need to know that there are people out there, like my office, who care about them. That is why this website is important, that is why the work that my advocates do each and everyday is important to these crime victims,” said Flynn.

To access the crime victims website, click here.