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Innovation by Victim Support Netherlands

The needs of victims in 2021, including the supporting  environment of the victim

In 2015 Victim Support Netherlands started a new cycle of innovation. The first program started to develop an online set of services for victims, including a new client registration program, a contact center with web care and also abilities of chat, a new online platform with several help tools. We also started off with an online format to facilitate contact between fellow sufferers.

By the end of 2018 we got a real appetite for innovation. A new innovation program was built on three drivers. The first drivers being the system world that in our society not everyone is capable to find the right service counter. Our ‘system world’ is too complex for some people. The second driver is the willingness to help in Dutch society is considerable, but less enthusiasm for structural volunteer work. The third driver is our dependency on police and Public Prosecution Service for intake of clients. We want to reach out to other victim groups, as there is also less willingness to report crimes.

The new innovation program places service provision in the domain of the victim by empowering the supporting environment of victims and next of kin to help nearest and dearest and client as well as possible.

On the European Day for Victims 2021 we launched two new lines of services: for the informal environment and for the professional environment.

Platform for the Helpers

Research showed us that 80% of victims seeks support from friends / family. Next to that friends and family really want to help but often don’t know exactly how. And ask themselves questions as:

Am I doing it right?

Am I saying the right things?

What is the victim’s feeling?

Where can I find information?

How would someone else deal with this?

In the way they search for information we found out that they seeks specifically to support the victim, without realizing that support is also available for helpers. Which is something we had to keep in mind how to lead them to our new services.

We developed an online platform ‘Voor de Helpers’ (For the Helpers). And the range of services go from very practical information to more specialized and personal help. The components are:

  • Checklists – rapid overview of what has to be done
  • Practical tips on organizing your support
  • Customized advice – what is the best form of professional support
  • Contact with fellow helpers in online community
  • Online mini training – 7 steps towards better support
  • Personal contact to briefly discuss your situation
  • Short video clips with example scenarios, for example on how to respond, or how to set your own boundaries

This video shows an example on how to set your boundaries.

Platform for Professionals

The key insights here where: it is a very diverse target group, most of them are unaware that Victim Support The Netherlands can help them, there is a real need for support, in every domain there are differences in needs: a  need for a personal contact point to discuss a case, help with interview techniques and follow up actions, knowledge enrichment, advice on personal policy and training of skills.

On the online platform we developed several services. Some of them case based, in which suspicions play an important role, but also different aspects on the role of the professional in question. But we developed also some case overarching services, so we can offer them help with dealing with victims on a structural basis, and their need for additional knowledge or capacity. The components which we started of with:

Case based

  • Expert line – a way of direct contact to have a sparring partner for specific cases
  • Practical support – interview techniques, signals guide, stress tool, etc.
  • Referral tool – advice on referral in a few steps

Case overarching

  • Assistance during disasters – care and aftercare in contingency planning and crisis mgt
  • Organization advice – for example advice on establishing a victim reporting point
  • Training – from e-learning modules to customized training
  • Knowledge and research – in-depth knowledge

This animation was made to explain to professionals in 60 seconds, what we can help them with.

After the launch in February we did extensive research which gave us input on which parts we should put more effort in to differentiate more and what we should develop more. End of 2021 the current innovation program ends and the new services will then be integrated in the organization.

Please take a closer look (in Dutch):

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