VSE: What made you decide to join VSE as board member?
Tobias Koertner: I am mainly interested in the international networking and linking between victim support services and the possibilities this might offer to strengthen victims’ rights and for policy making.
With my psychological background and background in active victim support work, I hope to be able to provide some valuable input into the work of VSE.
VSE: What are the main expertise you would expect to contribute to the VSE Board?
Tobias Koertner: As a trained clinical psychologist and psycho-social victim advocate, my contribution to the VSE board is the practical approach, experience with working with victims of violence, psychological needs of victims, as well as challenges and demands in a criminal process.
I furthermore bring experience from work in international projects.
VSE: As our board member, what will you be focusing in your upcoming 3 year term?
Tobias Koertner: I hope to be able to strengthen the position of VSE and transfer the work and information to Austria. As the WEISSE RING represents the voice of victims of crime in Austria, I will use this as an input for the work and focus-points of VSE and vice-versa, to strengthen rights of victims and knowledge exchange. One concrete topic worth focussing on, for instance, is victims of cyber-crime and hate on the internet.
Apart from that, I hope to successfully continue the work of my predecessor on the board and in international projects, Barbara Unterlerchner.
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?
Tobias Koertner: My activities in this regard included my continuous practical work in the field of accompanying victims to court and police hearings; support in evaluating the status if implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive in Austria; permanent internal exchange with other Austrian victim support services (e.g. concerning support of victims in prison; frequent round-tables on violence against women); trainings and presentations regarding victim support services and victims’ rights for police trainings; presentation on violence on the net and possibilities for victims to other victim support institutions; collaboration and scientific work in two EU-projects: Hate No More (development of trainings and awareness raising sessions against hate crime), and VOCIARE (a project researching the status of implementation of the Victims’ Directive (Directive 2012/29/EU) in several partner countries).