22 February 2016 marks European Day for Victims of Crime. In recognition of that day, national organisations around Europe held a series of events.
Below you will find information on some of the events that took place in: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Serbia
AUSTRIA – Weisser Ring
Violence at work – Networking for victims
On the occasion of the European Victims’ Day Weisser Ring Austria hosted a half-day conference on the issue of „Victims of violence at work“ in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Interior. The main focus of the conference has been the improvement of support to people exposed to violence either by work colleagues and employers or in connection with client and customer contact. Experience shows that most victims work in the areas of gastronomy, public transport, medical care, banking, trade etc.
The problem of violence at work has already led to some valuable projects and initiatives set off by labor unions and companies. Some companies have already implemented internal prevention measures and cooperation agreements with Weisser Ring Austria in order to provide information and support. However, most victims in Austria are not sufficiently well informed about their rights and support services available. In order to increase workplace safety, promt access to the legal system and adaequate support after an incident victim support organisations, labor unions, judiciary and the police must work together more closely. The overarching goal must be to improve the situation of victims of violence at work. The conference served as kick-off for further networking and cooperation initiatives. A round table with involved institutions will soon follow.
BELGIUM – Steunpunt Algemeen Welzijnswerk
Day of the Victim Event in the Flemish Parliament
On the European Day of the Victim the victim is at the heart of our event. We are focusing on current topics: sexual violence and trauma of refugees on the other hand. Are you a practitioner? Are you dealing with victims of sexual violence? Or are you dealing with some of those thousands of refugees that have reached our country in the past few months, looking for a better future? Then this day is for you. You can attend the full day conference or just attend half a day.
Sexual Violence – policy framework and practice
In Belgium on average 10 rapes are registered daily. We know that those are merely the tip of the iceberg, as 90% of all victims of sexual violence does not report the crime. Every year thousands of perpetrators, often acquaintances of the victims go unpunished. The victims are left with their questions, with their pain. Most victims don’t talk to anybody. But what if they do cross your professional path? Can you help? Do you know what is going on on a policy level? How are specilialised practitioners supporting victims of sexual violence? We are bringing an update on the policy and practice when supporting victims of sexual violence.
Refugees and trauma – tips for practitioners
Europe is being flooded by refugees. A never seen wave of migration has been coming towards us the past few months.
Citizens and professionals are working and volunteering to offer the refugees the first aid and refuge. Of course there are multiple other challenges that follow. When their primary needs of housing and income are covered, the questions of integration, schooling and dealing with trauma arise. What can we do as social worker? what should we strive for and what shouldnt we do? Specialists offer useful tips for working at the first line.
More information about the event:
CROATIA – Bijeli Krug Hrvatske
We had following activities around the European Victims Day:
On 19.2. we hosted the “Youth against violence” event where we spoke about the problem of violence among young people, as one of the solutions and prevention of violence we highlighted the popularization of creativity among the youth, improving conditions and possibilities for researching many talents the youth has. On that event we also presented results of the survey we made for the “Prevention of violence in teenage relationships” project in four Split high schools.
On 22.2. We participated in the round table “Applying the rights of the criminal offenses victims-experiences in practice” at the Ministry of justice in Zagreb. We spoke about the “Importance of intersectional collaboration for improving victim protection and their rights” and emphasized the importance of collaboration among all participants who work in the field of victim rights protection. Our president Livija Plančić, as an executive board member of VSE highlited that Croatia didn’t quite implement the Directive 2012/29/EU and that in that area Croatia can expect help from VSE.
CROATIA – the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, Independent Service for Victim and Witness Support
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, Independent Service for Victim and Witness Support is organizing a round table „Application of rights of the victims of crime – experience from practice“ on 22nd of February to mark the European Day for victims of crime.
Presentations about the application of the victim’s rights pursuant to Criminal Procedure Act and the application of the other rights of victims and institutional cooperation will be held by judges, state attorney, court’s expert assistant for children, representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Office for Victim and Witness Support at County Court, Ministry of Justice and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
Invited participants: Ombudswoman, Ombudswoman for Gender Equality, Ombudswoman for Children, Ombudswoman for persons with disabilities, NGOs that are listed on Victims Rights Form and other, Governmental Office for NGOs, City of Zagreb’s office for social protection and people with disabilities, Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law University of Zagreb, Child Protection Center of Zagreb, Centre for social welfare, National team for Prevention and Combating Domestic Violence and Violence against Women.
Subjects that will be covered:
Application of the victim’s rights pursuant to Criminal Procedure Act (Informing the victims about their rights-police, The rights of the victims and cooperation with the victim support services- state attorney office; Application of the victim’s rights and ensuring the protecting measures in criminal procedure –County court judge; Application of the victims’ and witnesses’ rights in practice-Municipal Court judge; Example of situation when a Victim get a chance to exercise all it’s rights- Victim Support Office, Support to children victims – expert assistant )
Application of the other rights of victims and institutional cooperation: (The effect on referring victims to victim support services and NGOs – field data; Measures of protection and support to victims by a proxy paid from the budget; Effect of the victim’s right on information about the release of the prisoner from serving their prison sentence; Effect of the application of the Crime Victims Compensation Act; The right of victims to free legal aid; institutional cooperation in a function of improving the protection of the rights of victims-NGO; Cooperation of competent services that are in contact with victims – positive effects on victims-NGO, Support to victims through the work of the National Call Centre for Crime Victims-NGO
CROATIA – Croatian Victim and Witness Support Service
This year, Croatian Victim and Witness Support Service is organizing a round table on February 26th and is a guest speaker on a round table on February 22nd. Both of the round tables are meant to raise awareness and are connected with European Victims Day.
These are the details about those two events:
Croatian Victim and Witness Support Service is organizing a round table “Development of Victim and Witnesses Support System in Croatia”. It is going to be held on February 26th at 11:00 at Human Rights House Zagreb. Representatives of respected NGOs and institutions, whose activities are closely connected with victims and witnesses, are going to share their experience and challenges which are arising in support system in Croatia. The main goal is to emphasize the importance of psycho-social support and to establish goals for further improvement of victim and witness rights.
Croatian Victim and Witness Support Service is a guest speaker at the round table organized by Ministry of Justice Croatia on February 22nd which focuses on experiences in practical work with victim rights. Croatian Victim and Witness Support Service is going to share their experience when working with victims through victim support system of 116 006 National Call Center for Victims and Witnesses of Crimes and Misdemeanors.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Bílý kruh bezpečí
Bílý kruh bezpečí together with the members of the Board of constitutional law organizes a seminar on the topic of “Petty crime does not exist” on February 22nd. The seminar takes place at the premises of Chamber of deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
The press conference of Bily kruh bezpeci on the occasion of European day for victims of crime is going to follow the seminar.
The BKB media campaign on the occasion of 25 years in service starts the same day.
For more information, please visit www.bkb.cz
ESTONIA – Ohvriabi – Victim Support estonia
Victim Support Estonia celebrated the annual Victims Day with a conference on 23.02.2016. The theme was „Child adaptation in changing society“ and was directed to all specialists working in child support, victim support, refugee help etc.
The conference presented all top specialists dealing with child adaptation and to name a few themes we had: a lawyer talked about Estonian new child rights law and what has changed starting from the beginning of this year; we had a former addict talking about his story who is now dedicating his life in helping youngsters not to make the same mistakes he did by going to schools and directly communicating with them; The leader of the NGO “a Family for Every Child” talked about issues like affection disorder; from national victim support we had a specialist from child protection unit talking about how to adapt in families where some members live across border, like in Finland or even farther away; our conference ended with an emotional topic about refugees in Estonia – how many so far and who are they and how they are adapting with their struggles.
All together we had almost fifty specialists listening from around every part of Estonia and the feedback was the best so far compared to other conferences we have organised. Participants were very active in asking questions and talking about their concerns and also networking in coffee breaks to expand cooperation among different organisations.
We will definitely continue organizing conferences to celebrate Victims Day in the future.
FINLAND – Victim Support Finland
Seminar on hate crimes and human trafficking
A half-day seminar on hate crimes and human trafficking in Joensuu on 22.2.16 organised by the Eastern Finland regional office in co-operation with the Eastern Finland Regional Administrative Agency (AVI). The agenda of the seminar: http://www.riku.fi/binary/file/-/id/79/fid/1680/
Library information event
- Information of Victim Support Finland’s local services in Järvenpää on 24.2.16 in the local library organised in cooperation with the Järvenpää city (7 hours event)
- Information of Victim Support Finland’s local services in Nurmijärvi on 23.2.16 in the local library organised in cooperation with the Nurmijärvi municipality (7 hours event)
Supermarket information event
Information of Victim Support Finland’s local services at the local Prisma hypermarkets in Kemi on 22.2.16 and in Tornio 23.2.16 (3 hours events)
FRANCE – INAVEM
Colloquium on Support to victims of Terrorism
INAVEM (Institut National d’Aide aux Victimes Et de Médiation) is celebrating its 30th Birthday this year. On the occasion of the European Victims Day 2016 INAVEM invites you to the l’Espace Reuilly (21 rue Hénard 75012) from 9AM for a colloquium focusing on the issue of support to victims of terrorism. The programme was developed in collaboration with the Conseil scientifique of l’INAVEM. The day will be moderated by INAVEM’s president Caroline Lacroix, lecturer in private law and Criminology, member of CERDACC, Université de Haute Alsace.
Entrance is free but you need to register by email “communication(at)inavem.org” with the name/first name – organisations – telephone number.
We invite you to share this information with your network and partners.
L’ENM is informed and the l’Ecole Française du Barreau recognises this colloquium as education: http://www.efb.fr/formation-continue/formations/autres-partenaires.html
HUNGARY- Office of Justice, Victim Support Unit
The Council of Europe issued their Victims’ Charter on 22 February 1990, and this date has been ever since commemorated in many countries across Europe as Day of Crime Victims. In Hungary, Fehér Gyűrű Egyesület (White Ring Association) was the first in 1993 to suggest remembering this date. And since the launch of state victim support in 2006, the Office of Justice organised a conference each year on this day. This year’s conference is a bit special, for we commemorate not only Crime Victims’ Day, but also the 10th anniversary of state Victim Support Service and the 5th anniversary of Victims’ Line (a 24/7 free of charge phone line operated by the Office of Justice).
According to Home Affairs statistics, 184.809 people were registered as victims of crime in 2015 in Hungary (not including victims of misdemeanours), that is 2% of the population. The total number of those affected by crime is however much larger: crime impacts family members as well as others in the victim’s close environment.
To improve victims’ position, the European Union declared the rights they must be provided for in the Directive 2012/29/EU. The deadline for Member States to implement the directive passed on 16 November 2015, and Hungary’s legislature met that deadline. The new laws cannot be held up as trophy, though: law enforcement shall meet the requirements in practice. Failing to do so, the situation will just deteriorate.
In Hungary, it is the main purpose of the 10-years-old Victim Support Service (operated by the Office of Justice and the county government offices) to support victims of crime and misdemeanour in coping with their psychological, emotional, legal, practical and financial problems caused by the crime.
Beside state victim support, many other organisations also bear responsibility towards victims. Not just police, public prosecutors and judges, but also those getting into contact with victims related to a crime. Among the topics of this year’s conference, disputing the role of historical churches (Roman Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran and Jewish) in assisting victims was an interesting one, to be hopefully continued by further co-operation on the field.
The conference and the Crime Victims’ Day got nationwide media coverage, reports on the conference appeared in several TV news and online papers. Some links (in Hungarian):
- interview in national TV http://www.mediaklikk.hu/video/ma-este-2016-02-21-i-adas/ (starting at 51:20)
- radio link
MALTA – Victim Support Malta
One billion rising event
Description of the event:
One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, people across the world came together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. On 14 February 2014, One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. For the third year of the campaign, One Billion Rising’s global coordinators chose the theme of “Revolution” as an escalation of the demand for justice, and to build upon the massive efforts of communities worldwide that also looked at the roots and causes of violence as part of their call for justice. On (or around) 14 February 2015, millions of activists in over 200 countries gathered to Rise for REVOLUTION, to change the paradigm, demand accountability, justice and systematic CHANGE. We are rising to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable. In 2016, the theme of Revolution continues with a call to focus on marginalised women and to bring national and international focus to their issues; to bring in new artistic energy; to amplify Revolution as a call for system change to end violence against women and girls; to call on people to rise for others, and not just for ourselves.
More information on the event: http://www.onebillionrising.org/…/campa…/one-billion-rising/
www.vso.com.mt (will be launched in April 2016)
#onebillionrising #victimsupportmalta #stopvictimblaming
The Netherlands – Slachtofferhulp
Symposium on Support after large scale incidents or terrorist attacks
Support after large scale incidents or terrorist attacks: the five pillars of support. The symposium takes place on Friday 19 February and is open to practitioners, researchers, policy makers.
Basic description of the event:
How do we support the victims of large scale incidents or terrorist attacks? Are we really sure that they get the right support from the start? Short term and long term? Presentations and workshops will be held on the five pillars: Communication and information, Individual and collective psychosocial support, Research, monitoring and evaluation, Legal and financial aspects, Involvement of local and national government.
Web address or other way to find out more info
Links to any media etc. such as videos, twitter hashtags, facebook pages.
PORTUGAL – APAV
Public Presentation of 116006 Helpline
APAV is hosting, on the 22 of February, a public presentation of our Victim Support Helpline – 116 006 – to the general public and the media.
In this public presentation APAV will present the services of our helpline and explain its importance and extent, and also present a statistic report of the helpline support cases.
Besides, APAV will also launch an awareness raising campaign about our helpline, on that day. You can find the campaign materials attached and in here: http://www.apav.pt/tmp/Spots_APAV_LAV.zip.
Awareness raising campaign
This awareness raising campaign was created by Human – a creative agency –, and will be on national tv, between February 22 and 28, in the Lisbon network of interactive outdoors and in the most important national newspapers and magazines.
Finally, the campaign will also have a strong presence on social networks (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), in which APAV has a strong presence with a large number of followers.
ROMANIA – ACTEDO
ACTEDO is currently coordinating Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence, a national network of 20 NGOs activating in the field of gender equality and non-violence. In the past 7 months, the network has implemented a national advocacy campaign for the complete and correct ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the creation of the first Sexual Assault Referral Centers in Romania, as there are no free, specialized and integrated services for victims of sexual violence. Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence has also developed an online resource center – www.violentadegen.ro, which is the only one of its kind in Romania.
Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence is organizing a conference on the 23rd of February in Bucharest on Sexual Violence: Challenges and Solutions in the Context of the Ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The conference will discuss methods of bridging Romanian legislation and practices with international standards in combating gender-based violence, the costs of gender-based violence, as well as recommendations for service providers in assisting survivors of sexual violence. The speakers include Ms. Rosa Logar (Vice-President of the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence – GREVIO of the Council of Europe), representatives of the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy, the Ministry of Health, the National Agency for Gender Equality, the Chamber of Deputies, as well as members of the Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence. More information about the conference here.
600,000 women in Romania are subjected to sexual violence at least once throughout their lives, yet most of the times they do not have access to specialized, adequate and free services to help them overcome the trauma. The solution that Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence is proposing is the creation of the first Sexual Assault Referral Centres, which would function within the Emergency Rooms of county hospitals or other medical facilities, with a distribution of one in each county and in Bucharest. These centres would provide medical aid, forensic assistance, psychological counselling, legal aid and support in the victim’s relation with the Police and other institutions involved in the case.
You can sign the petition here: http://facem.de-clic.ro/rupem_tacerea
SERBIA – Viktimolosko drustvo Srbije
Joint public statement
The joint public statement in occasion of European Victims days with Republic public prosecutor office end OSCE mission in Serbia
The members of VDS will give the lectures on few Belgrade universities (Faculty of low, Faculty for special education and rehabilitation, Faculty of political sciences etc.). The topics of the lectures will be: European Victims day, victim support services in Serbia and short movie about Service VDS info and victim support https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl2EEkK6oBw
The member of VDS will be the guest in TV show on national TV in occasion of European Victims days