It was just published the Directive 2012/29/EU of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. Voted by the European Parliament and approved with an overwhelming majority on the 12th of October 2012, this Directive will bring about a stronger set of rights for victims of crime and guarantee that all victims of crime enjoy the same basic rights in criminal proceedings and have access to victim support services and compensation.
Among other things, the innovative character of this Directive includes establishing an individual assessment of the specific needs of every and each victim, the obligation imposed to Member States of providing free-of-charge and confidential victim support services and the guarantee that victims will receive information about their rights in a language they can understand.
To the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV), and as a non-governmental organisation that believes and works to ensure that the victim statute is fully recognized, valued and effective; this is clearly a step forward towards the protection of crime victims.
The Project UNISEXO, promoted by the Portuguese Association for Victim Support, envisages acting on preventing sexual violence in higher education institutions, focusing primarily on occasional and dating relationships established by university students.
The devaluation of forced sex in intimate relationships and of minor sexual acts (like touches and forced kisses), the increase of the use of alcohol and other substances in a festive environment and the usual excesses in academic festivities are factors that may lead victims not to denounce or even perceive them as criminal acts.
The main activity of Project UNISEXO is the development a campaign for the prevention of sexual violence among university students. The campaign will be held through diverse means, namely: video and radio spots, leaflets, posters and street furniture, along with other materials. The campaign aims to bind a key message: “No Means Stop! Respect the will of others. Sexual violence is a crime.”
Project UNISEXO is financed by the QREN/POPH (National Reference Strategic Framework/Operational Programme Human Potential), Axis 7 – Gender Equality, measure 7.3. – technical and financial support to NGO’s, measure managed by the National Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality.
On the 12th, 13th and 14th of December, the Conference “Security, Democracy and Cities: The Future of Prevention” will be held in France.
Organized by EFUS (European Forum for Urban Security) in partnership with Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis (France), this interdisciplinary and international conference will be dedicated to the exchange of practices, experience and knowledge on crime prevention in Europe and around the world.
At this Conference, where it will be discussed topics related to drug abuse, minorities, organized crime and violence against women, will also be held lectures with experts in various fields in order to evaluate the urban security policies over the past 25 years, the challenges for the future of prevention as well as the main themes discussed by local authorities. Another highlight of this conference will be the adoption of the Manifesto which will reflect the political position adopted.
This initiative, in which 800 attendants from all over the world are expected, is addressed to all those who are involved in urban security, such as local authorities, security professionals, social workers, researchers, and representatives of civil society.
Victim Support Europe’s conference “Putting victims’ rights into practice – How to implement EU directive on victims’ rights across the EU” will take place in the European Parliament on the 26th November from 14h to 18h and will focus on the practical implementation of the EU Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.
The conference will include presentations from representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The event will also identify European best practice and input from national Member States’ perspective in relation to key rights, such as victims’ right to protection, right to information, right to individual assessment and right to support.
This is a chance for Members of the European Parliament, criminal justice agencies, national representatives, lawyers, practitioners and academics to learn more about the new EU Directive and how it can be implemented in practice to ensure victims of crime are able to access their new stronger rights across Europe.
For more information please check the website www.victimsupporteurope.eu
Joana Marques Vidal was sworn in last October 12th as General Prosecutor by the President of the Portuguese Republic.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by the Portuguese Prime Minister, the president of the Parliament and the president of the Supreme Court. In the ceremony were also present several members of the Government, namely the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Agriculture.
Holding a Bachelor degree in Law by the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, Joana Marques Vidal was general prosecutor assistant. At the time of the nomination she was the representative of the Public Prosecution in the Regional Section of Azores’ Audit Court. Expert in the area of Family Law, the prosecutor was president of the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) since 2007.
Besides Joana Marques Vidal’s undeniable technical skills and personal qualities, her courage facing every new challenge should be highlighted. The whole APAV team publicly addresses its congratulations for this nomination and whishes her best success.