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22 February - European Day for Victims of Crime

Achieving Safe Justice for Victims of Crime

An estimated 75 million people across Europe are victims of crime. While access to justice should be a given, that’s sadly more the exception than the norm. Whether in Europe or anywhere else, the structures designed to protect us are often the ones that fail us. Victims of crime struggle through the proverbial due process. Why the law adds to their trauma is beyond anyone’s understanding. Most victims of crime have their fundamental rights denied when reporting incidents. In addition, victim shaming is pervasive. So much so that many simply choose not to come forward. And there’s the crippling fear of retaliation that prevents many from seeking justice.

European Day for Victims of Crime aims to change this. Our task is to improve the service and support that victims receive from the point at which a crime is reported right through to their experience in the courtroom. The European Day for Victims of Crime gives us the push we need to ensure that the justice system doesn’t inflict more trauma on people already suffering.

With the launch of the new discussion paper and the implementation of its recommendations into national contexts VSE hopes to make it easier for everyone to access the justice system through support, information, and protection.

The aim of this event is to take the debate forward and explore the fundamentals of achieving safe justice system. The principles of safe justice and its application in practice will be outlined, followed by a consideration of what it may offer victims of crime. The aim of this discussion is therefore to explore the possibilities and to present approaches which may better serve victims and the community.

This event will provide an opportunity for leading experts from different professional backgrounds (victim advocates, academics, victim support workers, policy makers, judges, prosecutors) to examine notions of justice, the role assigned to victims in criminal proceedings and how the implementation of victims’ rights impacts that role. We also reflect on the needs of victims following a crime and how crime affects victims; and, finally, we will address victim-centric approaches to the practical barriers faced by victims. We will subsequently explore what is required to make our criminal justice systems truly effective.


Please find below the preliminary agenda.

Time Topic
13:30 – 14:00 Registration
14:00 – 14:15 Welcome words: President of VSE and partner institutions
14:15 – 14:30 Live Testimony
14:30 – 14:50 Launch of the VSE’s discussion paper ‘Safe Justice for Victims of Crime’ – Levent Altan, VSE
14:50 – 15:50 Debate: ‘What is required to make our criminal justice systems truly effective?”
15:50 – 16:00 Conclusion & Closing remarks

Practical information

20 February 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 pm CET

Press Club Brussels
Rue Froissart 95
1040 Brussels


Co-funded by:
Hosted by:

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Victim Support Europe and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

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