All Federation’s employees and the majority of association professionals have been teleworking even though these practices in France are not very widespread, and even less in associations.
After a short period of technical uncertainty for the 116006 helpline (calling back victims, thanks to the interactive messaging system + emails), the usual services to help victims have been put back in place. Thus, the providers ensured the continuity of services to victims from their homes.
Local associations handled emergencies in court and in connection with the investigation services (protection of the most vulnerable victims) and the interviews were carried out remotely, by telephone or by videoconference. This type of interviews have spread quickly, especially for psychological support, without ultimately causing any problems, either for victims or for professionals.
The communication largely highlighted the availability of associations and the modes of access to services (tel. / mail), indicating that the victims were not alone.
The France Victims Network has developed remote practices, including :
- The communication and collaborative work tools have been put in place for the teams, making it possible to keep in touch despite the confinement, and also to hold web conferences between the Federation and the associations.
- There was recourse to a tool offering a psychological teleconsultation service totally secure for victims’ data, and free during the confinement.
- The most vulnerable victims were systematically contacted to find out how they were doing.
- The police / gendarmerie services have carried out the automatic sending of complaints to victim support associations, so that they could call back the victims.
“New” victims had their first contact with the association through new devices allowing:
- either better orientation of victims by the Prosecutor’s Office or the investigative services
- or a strengthening of the proactive approaches of associations by press communication, by posting in new places such as tobacco shops, pharmacies, display or reception desk in supermarkets.
All in all, nearly 28 000 victims were helped during 58 000 interviews during the period from 17 March to 8 May 2020.
More than 11 000 victims of domestic violence were able to benefit from the assistance of France Victimes associations (+ 7% vs. the same period in 2019), even though during the confinement period, the associations saw their activity decrease (- 44 % of victims and – 30% of interviews).
At the 116006 helplines, there was an 8.5% increase in solicitations, with a 178% increase in the number of domestic violence over the period.