Victims of crime across the EU still do not receive adequate support or protection, finds a new report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Measures that could help respect victims’ rights are lacking or not well used. On European Day for Victims of Crime, FRA calls on EU countries to better protect victims, improve victim support and facilitate crime reporting.
"Too many victims of crime still do not feel safe or cannot report their suffering. Many are not adequately supported nor protected. This applies particularly to victims of domestic violence, children, or victims living in closed institutions," says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. "EU countries need to ensure justice is served for all victims in full respect of their rights."
FRA’s Underpinning victims’ rights report identifies gaps in victims’ protection and support, guaranteed under the EU Victims’ Rights Directive. It highlights what needs to be done to move towards a victim-centred approach:
- Make victim support more effective – victim support is inadequate in some EU countries. EU countries need to ensure victim support organisations offer sufficient support. These organisations should follow clearly defined performance standards which should be monitored. EU countries should also offer comprehensive victim support services tailored to the needs of different groups of victims.
- Protect victims better – Victims are often further traumatised by having to repeatedly talk about their experiences, insensitive comments or seeing their abuser. EU countries need to ensure that police officers receive practical guidance on protecting victims from repeat and secondary victimisation.
- Facilitate crime reporting – Two-thirds of victims do not report being attacked, as previous FRA research shows. EU countries should improve how victims can report crime, especially for victims of domestic violence, victims of hate crime, or victims living in closed institutions. There is a clear need to enhance trust in law enforcement and set up alternative reporting options such as the systematic use of third-party reporting.
The report also identifies good practices to inspire other countries. This includes specific ways of protecting victims from secondary victimisation, during investigations and court proceedings by, for example, recording their statements once for subsequent use in court or using accreditation systems for victim support organisations.
The report covers all EU countries. It is based on data collected between 2017-2019. Kindly find the report in the download section below.
Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights