Geraldine Hanna: I have worked in various roles within Victim Support in the UK for 17 years and am a keen supporter of the aims of VSE. Given Brendan’s (former treasurer) need to step down as treasurer, I was keen to ensure that there was minimum impact on the work of VSE so offered to take on this role. I was delighted to have been approved at the last AGM and looking forward to the challenges and rewards that this role will no doubt bring.
VSE: What are the main expertise you would expect to contribute to the VSE Board?
Geraldine Hanna: I hope that my experience in working for and leading a victims NGO will help inform the work of VSE in developing and advocating for best practice in victim care. I trust that my role as Accounting Officer for Victim Support NI will also assist in my financial oversight role.
VSE: As VSE’s board member, what will you be focusing in your upcoming 3 year term?
Geraldine Hanna: Outside of the responsibilities of the treasurer role, I am particularly interested in how VSE can help to strengthen the capacity of members in their support to victims.
VSE: Are there any specific things you’ve done in the last two years regarding strengthening the rights and services for victims of crime in your country/in Europe?
Geraldine Hanna: I have been involved in the development of the Witness Charter which grants entitlements to witnesses of crime. This work built on the previous group which I sat on which developed a Victims Charter for Northern Ireland. This legislations transposed the EU Directive into local legislation. In March of this year, following a high profile rape trial, we led the call for an independent review of sexual violence cases. An independent review, led by former Lord Justice Gillen has now commenced. I sit on the advisory panel for this review. It is anticipated that this review will lead to changes in legislation which will improve the treatment of sexual violence victims at all stages of the process.