VSE’s Vice-President Helgard van Hüllen speaks at EU Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

4 Apr, 2017

11th of March is the EU Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism. The anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Madrid has become the European day to commemorate and pay tribute to all victims of terrorism. As previous years the RAN has organised a Remembrance day in the European Commission bringing together victims, policy makers, support providers and youths to stand by victims of terrorism and commemorate the loss of so many lives.

President of the Republic of France, Francois Hollande, opened the meeting expressing his condolences for all the lives lost and his conviction to ensure victims of terrorism receive the support they need. The French Secretary of State, Juliette Méadel, shared some of her important work for victims of terrorism and stressed the importance of cross-border collaboration. Sir Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union, spoke on the new EU Directive on combating terrorism. He pointed to the power of victims’ voices.

President of the Republic of France, Francois Hollande, opened the meeting expressing his condolences for all the lives lost and his conviction to ensure victims of terrorism receive the support they need. The French Secretary of State, Juliette Méadel, shared some of her important work for victims of terrorism and stressed the importance of cross-border collaboration.

Terrorism has no borders. Support for victims of terrorism should have no borders.

The audience listened to the three moving testimonies of victims of recent attacks in Belgium and France. Then Helgard van Hüllen, Vice President of Victim Support Europe and Deputy National Chair of Weisser Ring Germany took the stage. The victims of the terrorist attacks in Berlin had asked her personally to speak on their behalf. Helgard van Hüllen shared how important it is for victims to get the right support, not only immediately after an attack but also in the long term. She discussed the needs of victims of terrorism, and of victims of the Berlin attacks in particular. The stories of victims stressed once more the need for victim-oriented planning and training of support providers in ensuring victims are provided with the right information and support.

Different speakers spoke on the challenges and needs of victims living with the aftermath of an attack. The psychological impact after terrorist attacks can be devastating for victims and requires specialised and long-term support.

Victim Support Europe was honoured to attend the event to Remember victims of terrorism. Different speakers once more stressed the importance of an international approach to supporting victims of terrorism. Victim Support Europe has been working with different partner organisations and governments to ensure cross-border victims receive the information and support they need.