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Victim Recovery A Road of Many Routes

This year’s conference will feature three traditional plenary sessions and one interactive plenary session, which follows a two-way, conversational format – a particularly engaging way to deliver content to the audience.

Plenary I – Discussion Panel: What are the New Approaches to Justice

– Juries in sexual and domestic violence trials: time for a change?

This presentation will focus on whether specialist Courts work and what the advantages and inconveniences of handling specific crimes are.
Several magistrates will confront their own systems in order to explain what has worked or not, the reasons why it worked or failed, and whether there are prerequisites for this kind of experience to work throughout Europe.

– How to enhance judicial cooperation to allow victims to attend trials abroad?

Regardless of the differences in procedures and regardless of the distance, it is possible to develop an international cooperation so victims can attend trials abroad. During the Bardo trial following the terrorist attacks of the Bardo Museum in Tunisia, and for the first time, victims’ travel expenses were covered so they could attend trial in Tunisia.
Victims who were not in capacity to attend were also given the possibility to travel to Paris and watch a video broadcast of the trial.
This presentation will also explain how national victim support services taking part in the organisation of this event allowed for a better consideration of psychological and compensation-related issues.

– Reducing secondary victimisation during trial:

This presentation will focus specifically on the use of facility dogs as a way to reduce secondary victimisation during trial: in order to avoid secondary victimisation, some solutions have been implemented directly within Courts. That is the case of facility dogs, which are specially trained dogs that are able to work with victims in criminal proceedings and in Court.

Plenary II: What are the Routes to Support?

– What do we mean by National Support System?

Having a National Support System results in equality of treatment throughout the territory, regardless of its format: it can be a governmental system, NGOs, carried by volunteers or professionals.
But across Europe and beyond, what should a national system of support look like – what services should it encompass, who should deliver it and how should it be accessible to everyone. This plenary will explore an overarching framework which can be used in any country.

– Rescuers: incorporating a victim focus into your profession:

Rescuers are increasingly including victim support in their line of work, going further than assisting victims. They have the ability to and will redirect victims of crimes to victim support associations.
During this session, Fire fighters will talk about their experience: the ways they helped and supported victims.

– Remote support: the example of victim support helplines:

Helplines are often the first contact victims have when reaching for support, and their first way to Justice.
The European Union has long established 116 006 as a single helpline number for victims of crime. Yet few States have it in place. Why is this the case, when other helplines are well established? What are the costs of not having helplines and what makes a good helpline? How can we establish national helpline across Europe and beyond?

Plenary III: What are the Routes to Recovery?

– Which psychological assistance for which victim: assessing needs and making available different types of support:

It is crucial that different types of psychological care are made available for victims so they can find a suitable way to recover from trauma. This session will focus on the importance of assessing the victims’ needs correctly to offer the correct support for each victim, and make sure victims have access to the right psychological assistance for them.

– How to find the right psychologist for you: developing networks of experts:

In order to make different kind of psychological support available, there is a need to develop networks of experts so victims can find the right psychologist for them.
Following terrorist attacks, one of the issues that arose was the difficulty for victims to find the right psychologist.
Similar to a list of lawyers specialised in victims’ rights, there is a need to establish a list of professionals for victim support services to redirect the victims towards, so they can find the right psychologist and form of support.

– Maximising recovery in restorative justice: working with a support focus:

Restorative justice can take many forms, and can occur outside of criminal justice systems: it is in itself another way to support victims. Victim support services can use restorative justice the same way they use traditional psychological support or financial compensation.

– Transforming our compensation systems for victims:

The aim of financial compensation is to help victims to go back to their previous state, before they became victims. However, can victims actually obtain a full reparation?
Is there an optimum compensation system? Do our compensation systems do more harm than good when dealing with victims?
This presentation will discuss how to modify the conditions for compensation, which damages should be compensated and why it is important for victims to have the ability to claim financial compensation in a victim-oriented way.

Plenary IV – Interactive Plenary: Achieving a High Quality of Support

This plenary session is designed to provide interaction between all participants of the conference.

It will focus on the way to achieve high quality services by determining the most important routes to quality.
Short presentations will tackle the standards set by victim support services and the training of their workers. For instance, the French Government has developed standards for professional victim support associations, but what can be considered a appropriate and relevant standard?

Presentations will also debate the place of victims within victim support and peer helping: how can we include victims within our support mechanisms? How can former victims help new victims?