PA Crime Victims website

Pattie Crider

Writing 202

Website Critique

March 8, 2012

The Pennsylvania Crime Victims (PCV) website was designed for a female victim of crime in PA.  PCV is maintained by the Commonwealth of PA and presented the message, “Anyone can be a victim.”  PCV focused on the rights of victims in PA and the importance of having a place of understanding on the Internet to cope.  Unlike most government run websites, the PCV first link on the home page is written for victims by victims of crime.

The PCV website is a credible source of information as it comes directly from the government.  The web-designer did an excellent job of organizing the layout of the website.  The home page is well-organized and has a clean, uncluttered look with a nice color contrast of tan and purple.  The subtle color choices work well and give a calm, serene look to the pages on the website.  Also on the home page is an escape button if a reader must exit the site quickly.  This escape button automatically redirects the page to Google.com.

There are nine pages underneath the home page link:

  • How the Crime May Affect You
  • Your Rights as a Crime Victim
  • Available Services
  • Find Help in Your County
  • The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems
  • Notifications About Offenders (Including PA SAVIN)
  • Financial Assistance
  • Empowering the Victim
  • Feedback

Each of these links will direct the reader to more links that fall under the relevant page.  I’ve chosen four of the nine pages that are not self-explanatory by their title.

The links under the title direct a reader to pages that are well-written and easy to understand.  The emotional appeal of the website is on the victim.   For a victim to make use of the website; it must be written in a language that any PA citizen can comprehend.  The information is concise and offers understanding to the victim, tips on coping, and answers to frequently asked questions.

The links under this title explains the terminology and how or who to reach to receive the available programs.  The number of programs is extensive but the website uses informal language to get the message to their reader.  This will appeal to the reader as an emotional connection can be made with the text.   Also on this page are victim’s first-hand accounts of crimes committed against them.  Including this type of information on the website is evidence that PA does care about its citizen’s well-being.

The creator of this website really had the victim in mind when designing this site.  A victim of a crime may just need a clearer understanding of the court system process in order to get through the process of testifying and eventually healing from a traumatic crime.

The links from this page are a wealth of information for a victim of abuse.  The safety planning page lists the steps necessary to flee from an abuser and the domestic violence page would be very helpful to victim of spousal abuse.

The Pennsylvania Crime Victims website format was easy to navigate, the hyperlinks were all functioning correctly, the accessible information was all relevant to the website, and there were no noticeable grammatical errors.  The over-all effectiveness in assisting the target audience of women in PA was excellent.  PA placed the victim first and put all the information needed for their safety and recovery conveniently on the commonwealth’s website.

For more information on the PA Crime Victims website please click this link for the home page: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pcv_home/14554

Stay safe,

~P.

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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