The right to access justice and to be protected against repeated victimisation may remain unattainable in practice, if victims of crime do not to receive professional advice and support. The criminal justice system may also seem daunting and confusing to those who are not familiar with it. In the opposite case-scenario, adequate services for victims can enhance citizens’ feeling of safety and increase their trust in urban authorities and social institutions.
With this in mind, the Municipality of Piraeus established a Victim Support Unit. Founded within the framework of the BSFS project (2019-2023; co-financed by the European Union’s Urban Innovative Actions), the Unit supports victims of any type of crime and provides psychosocial and legal services, as well as referrals to relevant institutional and social bodies. The session will explore the modalities of building one-stop-shop support services, and other relevant victim support practices and share the lessons learned of making such initiatives functional and sustainable.
In this session, we will discuss:
How to create a one-stop-shop system to support victims of crime and their affected relatives?
How does the Victim Support Unit in the case of the City of Piraeus, provide one-stop-shop support for victims?
How to involve and train an interdisciplinary team, including lawyers, psychologists, social workers, and volunteers to provide support to victims, in one place?
What other victim support practices are elaborated and implemented at the local level in different member states?
How to effectively communicate externally about such victim support services – How to inform the citizens?
What are other cities’ examples and recommendations with regards to the establishments and operationalisation of such victim support services?
Researcher, BeSecure-FeelSecure project Chara is a psychologist-sociologist providing counselling to prisoners, to released prisoners and to members of their families (spouse, children). Equally, Chara is involved in the building and development of a network of stakeholders such as entities (both institutional and social) which provide specialised support to vulnerable populations (e.g. N.G.O.s addressed to children, treatment programmes for substance users, N.G.O.s addressed to homeless people, refugees/immigrants, e.t.c.)
Researcher, BeSecure-FeelSecure project Charalampos carried out studies in law and criminology. He is a member of the Hellenic Society of Criminology and he held the honorary and voluntary position of the General Secretary of the Central Scientific Council for the Prevention of and Response to Juvenile Victimization and Juvenile Delinquency for three years (2010-2013).
Deputy Mayor in charge of victims’ rights City of Nice (France) In terms of victims’ rights, Martine Ouaknine manages, with the agents and the director of the Security Agency, the House of Victims which is a municipal structure dedicated to all victims for assistance, psychological and legal support and well-being workshops.
Director of Victim Support Europe and Member of the SHINE Advisory Board Levent Altan has been Executive Director of Victim Support Europe (VSE) since 2014. In this role, he is responsible for providing overall leadership, strategic direction and management of the organisation. As Executive Director of VSE, he has grown the organisation into an international network of victim support organisations which carries out advocacy, policy and capacity building for all victims of crime.