"Transforming victim support: from dream to reality" is the motto of the Victim Support Europe Annual Conference 2021, which takes place on the 19th and 20th of May. This online event aims to celebrate the work on victim support in several countries of the European Union over the past three decades.
This year's edition brings together the main international actors in the work with victims of crimes and will address topics such as the evolution of victim support movements, the development of support services, specialized services or innovative therapies and methods for the recovery of victims. .
Victim Support Europe is an organization that brings together the various victim support services and organizations in Europe and is currently chaired by also APAV's president, João Lázaro.
With the publication of Directive 2012/29 / EU, the rights of victims of crime have come to be the object of greater protection. However, for these to be effective, just legal texts are not enough, it is necessary to understand the protection system in its entirety to determinate better solutions. With this in mind, and considering the growing concern of the European Union with the full implementation of the text of the Directive, the PROVICTIMS project was developed, whose main objective was to demystify the roles that actors in criminal proceedings play in guaranteeing the protection of victims' rights.
Under the scope of this Project it was developed the ProVictims Report: The role of the public prosecution in the promotion of victims’ rights and the Brochure: Victims’ rights and the public prosecution service – 10 questions and answers, that we are glad to share.
During the research developed in the report, it was found that the effectiveness of the victims' rights depends on a delicate balance between the representation of the State and its interests as well as the fundamental rights and guarantees of the accused, a result that is not always easily achieved. That is why the victim support services play an essential role in this articulation, as they ensure the commitment to their rights as well as guarantee an exchange of synergy between the other agents of the criminal services.
This report written by Catarina Abegão Alves and Sónia Moreira Reis with the support of João Gouveia de Caires, is a unique contribution in terms of academic research, with fundamental and practical recommendations that can help build a better protection system for victims of crime.
The brochure on Victims’ rights and the public prosecution service – 10 questions and answers highlighted the crucial role prosecutors play in making rights effective and accessible for victims of crime.
The PROVICTIMS project was developed in collaboration between APAV and institutions from four European countries, namely the Irish Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Spanish IRSE-EBI, the Procuradoria Geral da República, Attorneys General's Office (PGR), the Victims Help and Support Organization White Circle Croatia, of Croatia and the Centre of Investigation for Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
These outcomes were developed as part of the activities of ProVictims Project, co-funded by the Union's Justice Programme (2014-2020).
The Inclusive Infovictims website is now available, the first website in Portugal that provides people with visual and hearing impairments with information on rights, criminal proceedings and their stakeholders and the functioning of the judicial system.
The protection of people with visual and hearing impairments, victims of crime, the reduction of negative effects and the consequences of the victimization experience, and the contribution so that people with visual and hearing impairments have in their pose the knowledge and tools necessary to acting in case of violence or crime are fundamental to the promotion of their autonomy and training.
With this in mind, APAV, together with partners, developed the Inclusive Infovictims Project, creating informative materials, in digital support, adapted to the needs of people with visual and hearing impairments, providing them with the necessary knowledge to act in case of crime or violence.
APAV joins Victim Support Europe launching the “Promoting Rights of European Victims” (PREVICT) campaign.
Conducted with 8 partners across 6 different countries, the campaign intends to inform general public of the existence of victim support services and to encourage victims to reach out these services. The campaign will deliver tailored information about the support services to the estimated more than 4,5 million of victims of crimes in the six countries. Videos and other information materials (billboards, posters, brochures, stickers, etc.) will be rolled out in social media and offline from February till May 2021 under the hashtags #ReclaimYourSafety and #TogetherWeCan.
The third newsletter was launched on the project Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (VMVD) in Times of Pandemic: characterization, challenges and opportunities in distance support (AaD). This is the first scientific research project developed by APAV, it is funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Line Gender Research 4 COVID-19) and has a partnership with Egas Moniz - Higher Education Cooperative (LABPsi) and the Fernando Pessoa University (UFP). See the newsletter here.