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Exhibition: "Giving voice to silence"

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The Museum of Archaeology and Numismatics of Vila Real joins the celebration of 25 Years of APAV, hosting the exhibition "Giving Voice to Silence." The exhibition will be inaugurated on June 3 and brings together a selection of awareness campaigns promoted by APAV. The exhibition will be open until the 27th of June.

In 2015 the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since 1990 APAV has supported an increasing number of victims of crime, an estimated population of over 270,000 people. As a nationwide social solidarity institution, it’s mission to protect and support victims of crime is crucial in the Portuguese Society. Over 25 years APAV, together with the support of advertising agencies, has developed an immense work on raising awareness campaigns. That is the work that we bring to you today. This outreach work complements the direct support to victims of crime and is critical to the fulfillment of the social mission of the APAV. APAV, 25 years giving voice to silence.

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APAV launches the English version of the microsite about Sexual Violence

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APAV launches the English version of the microsite about Sexual Violence. This website was developed as part of the activities of the Project Unisexo 2, focused on the prevention of sexual violence.

The English version of the website was developed due to the high number of foreign students currently attending the University of Coimbra, about 4,000 from 100 different nationalities.

This version aims to facilitate access by the entire academic community to practical information on sexual violence and prevention strategies.

The microsite is available in:
www.apav.pt/violenciasexual

Conference: Victims of Crime in Europe: the future is now! | 13/14 May

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The Conference Victims of Crime in Europe: the future is now!, a commemorative event of APAV’s 25th Anniversary and the 25th Annual Conference of Victim Support Europe, will be held in Lisbon, on the 13th and 14th of May 2015, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

APAV and Victim Support Europe invite you to guarantee your presence and come join the discussion on the development of the rights of victims over the past 25 years and the challenges and best practices in the implementation of the rights of crime victims in the European Union, with a particular focus on:

· The right to participation and information;
· The right to protection;
· The right to safeguards in Restorative Justice;
· The right to victim support services;
· Assisting victims with specific needs;
· The financial costs to the victim (expenses, legal aid, compensation);
· Prevention and unreported crime.

We hope you will be able to attend!

Information and registration:
apav.pt/25

APAV launches a new website: www.abcjustica.pt

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On the 24th of September, APAV launched the website www.abcjustica.pt, developed under the Project ABC Justice, promoted by APAV and co-financed by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund, of the United States Embassy.

Within the context of an increased attention towards the rights of victims of crime, following the adoption of the new Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, this new and innovative resource aims to inform youngsters aged between 12 and 17 about the functioning of the criminal justice system and the rights of victims of crime.

Several themes are covered using a simple approach, with uncomplicated and child-friendly language. The rights of victims of crime and the ways and resources to obtain them are explained. Youngsters are also provided with an overview of the different phases of the criminal proceedings as well as with the role of the most relevant figures that work or participate in the criminal justice system.

Young visitors will also be allowed to have some fun while learning. They are presented with videos where young students explain the core themes of the website, with useful links and with a glossary. A quiz for young people to put their knowledge at test is also available.

For now the website is available in Portuguese, but soon we will present an English version so that other foreign youngsters can jump on board for a trip into the world of the criminal justice system. Feel free to join us on a visit!

www.abcjustica.pt

All Victims Recognised, No Victim Forgotten: Joint Statement for European Day for Victims of Crime | 22 February

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Sunday 22 February marks European Day for Victims of Crime. A day to remember those who have suffered at the hands of criminals – many millions every year –children and adults, women and men, poor and wealthy, residents and visitors to the EU.

It is a day to recognise the plight of victims everywhere and to give voice to their needs.

Across Europe and the world, reports of crimes against victims – whether they relate to terrorism, abuse, domestic violence, hate crime, human trafficking, robbery or any other crime, are a stark reminder of how unpredictable crime can be.

Our thoughts are with all those who have been victimised, whether or not the crime is reported in the media, whether it is reported or not to the police or to other organisations. Even if you have never told anyone about the crime, you are not alone, and our thoughts are with you.

We know that in many countries victim support services are able to respond immediately to help victims. Such a timely response is essential. On this occasion, we would like to thank all those who stand ready to help victims - the staff and volunteers of victim support organisations, specialised bodies, individual professionals and many more, for their extraordinary efforts.

Your dedication gives victims an essential line to help them recover and to overcome the hardships they face. We also thank Victims of Crime International (VOCI) and the US National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) for their expressed support.

Yet we must recognise that victim support is not always available in every country in Europe, nor around the world. Not every State has well established, well-funded, national victim support organisations which provide victims with the support they need. Nor is every victim entitled to access victim support services even when they are available. Unfortunately, there is often still a large gap between victims’ rights on paper and their rights in practice.

In 2015, this cannot continue to be the case. Every Member State of the European Union has made a clear commitment to establishing victim support services – both generic and specialised, to establishing full and effective rights for victims of crime, and to implementing the EU Directive on Victims’ rights by November of this year (with the exception of Denmark).

Today, we call on those Member States to live up to this and other commitments to victims. We call on them and on States around the world to continue to strive to improve the situation of victims.

All victims of crime, no matter what crime, no matter where it took place, no matter who the victim is, where they come from or the reasons for their victimisation, should be treated with respect and dignity. They should be supported in the immediate aftermath of the crime and for as long as is necessary afterwards.

Law enforcement and justice systems must work tirelessly, not only to find, prosecute and punish the criminals, but also to safeguard each and every individual victim involved in that process. The system should not cause more harm or suffering to victims and it should not impose unnecessary burdens and costs.

Our national systems must treat each victim as an individual. The needs of one group of victims are not the same as for another. The needs of one person are not the same as for another. Nor can the response be identical for each person. The reasons for the crime will vary, the social, cultural and personal background of individuals will change the impact of the crime, the dangers the victim may face, the likelihood they are re-victimised and the help that victim will need.

An effective and humane response to victimisation must take all this into account. It must co-ordinate the action of justice and law enforcement agencies, of educational establishments and health services, of social care systems and local authorities, to ensure that the response to victimisation is a social response, just as crime is an attack on society as a whole as well as the individual.