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.