Download workshops schedule here

DAY 1: 12 JUNE 2019

SESSION 1 – 11:20-12:50

Miviludes – Victims of sectarian hold

Mind control’s victims are part of vulnerable groups of victims.
Inside abusive communities, the thoughts and actions of their members are controlled through a variety of “mind control” techniques targeted to financial and sexual abuses in particular.
The workshop will bring together a range of practical perspectives on the phenomenon. It will highlight how it can be difficult to detect. It will show the extent of abuse in different forms of trafficking though concrete examples and case studies.
In France the Inter-ministerial Mission for Vigilance and Combating Sectarian Aberrations (MIVILUDES) is a government body responsible for observing and analysing any criminal offences that may be committed by sectarian movements under the pretext of assisting in the personal or spiritual development of vulnerable persons. MIVILUDES has no competence in matters of religion or worship. However, violations of laws and regulations determine the process for prosecuting offences. People under mind control need to be protected. Miviludes brings any violations of human rights protection rules, to the attention of the judicial authorities.
The workshop will be a useful forum to share and discuss with opportunities for future collaborative work and compare actions in Europe for people victims of sectarian hold.

Diane Salomon – The denunciation of incest

As multiple studies showed, denunciations of incest by the victim are exceptional and late.
Some hindrances, such as fear of retaliation, and the causes of revelation of the crime, like being helped by a third party, are now known.
But the psychological process that comes with breaking the silence is still ignored. The main goal of the research that will be presented is to grasp the movements specific to the psychological work that is being put by the victim when she reports an incestuous act to her family and to the authorities.
The relentless fight that is leading victim support associations allowed for the extension of the limitation period to the victim’s 48th birthday. This legislative evolution highlights the specificity of incest disclosure, its duration and attempts to facilitate its implementation.
But is it the role of Justice? Is the trial the best way for the victim to regain the state of subject of her story? A thinking process will be made around justice’s function for victims and its effects on the recovery process.

APAV – A route to effective and quality services

Effective victim support is not only crucial for victims’ recovery but it is also critical for ensuring the fundamental rights of victims, namely the access to criminal justice. The provision of effective victim support, however, is not confined to the creation of such services and the establishment of procedures.
The effectiveness of support services depends greatly on their capacity to adapt to the ever-changing models of society, the constant emergence of new crimes and the individual circumstances of each victim. It depends also on the service’s quality which must be measured as a form of guaranteeing self-evaluation and improvement.
In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to learn about APAV’s proximity services and the different ways they operate reflecting the need to adapt to victim’s individual needs and changing environments. The participants will also be provided with an overview of APAV’s Quality Management System and models of impact assessment which allow the evaluation of the quality services provided and the identification of further improvements.
APAV believes the best way to learn is by sharing experiences. Therefore, this workshop will present to participants where we came from, where we are and where we want to go as a victim support organisation.

E-PROTECT – Individual Needs Assessment Methodology for Child Victims of Crime

The project “Enhancing PROtection of Children – vicTims of crime” (E-PROTECT) is implemented by Law and Internet Foundation, Vienna Center for Societal Security, Defence for Children Italy, South-East European Research Centre, and Romanian Center for European Policies. These organisations were brought together by their desire to combine efforts and contribute to improved understanding on child rights established by Directive 2012/29/EU. The project is dedicated to raise awareness on child rights, granted by the Victims’ Directive and inspire cooperation among the large variety of professionals who deal with child victims of crime. Within the project, a child victims of crime individual needs assessment methodology is elaborated to provide tailored approach toward every particular case.
The workshop will present the E-PROTECT Individual Needs Assessment Methodology with focus on child-sensitive justice; how exposure to criminal offence can influence the child’s health and wellbeing, development and evolving capacities, behaviour and communication; hearing the child’s story; individual assessment to determine special protection measures required to prevent secondary or repeat victimisation, intimidation or retaliation; multidisciplinary and interagency cooperation in the individual assessment; procedural safeguards for individual assessment in accordance with the principle of the best interests of the child.

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) – Human rights in action? Women as victims of partner violence

Women as victims of partner violence are entitled to criminal justice and to protection against retaliation and repeat victimisation from the side of the  offender. FRA’s recent research on Justice for victims of violent crime (2019) shows that some Member States clearly fail to deliver on these rights.
In about two in three cases, women who reported to the police that they were exposed to partner violence were left without any protection against further violence.
Of the practitioners interviewed in 6 Member States (all but Austria), 80% agreed with the statement that more needs to be done to protect victims of partner violence.
About 70% of the women interviewed as victims of partner violence agreed that they would have needed more support in overcoming the threat of violence.
82% of the women interviewed agreed that they would have liked to be more involved in the proceedings, with 38% even agreeing strongly.
86% of the women interviewed as victims of partner violence agreed that they, at some point of the proceedings, had experienced the presence of the offender as intimidating (with some 40% agreeing even strongly), compared to ‘only’ 50% of the victims of other forms of violent crime (with 18% agreeing strongly).

SESSION 2 – 15:35-17:05

France Victimes 55 – The specific vulnerability of victims abroad

The traditional meaning of a victim’s « vulnerability », often related to criteria related to the person (age, sickness, disability…), is actually extremely limited. It seems necessary today to think of broadening this notion to specific contexts, particularly the context of being a victim of crime abroad. Being a victim in a country that is not your own, being far from your relatives, your environment, leads to difficulties and specific consequences that are true vectors of vulnerability. Complications related to the foreign context are several and can be cumulative. They are stronger when the country is further away: further away because of the distance, but also because of the culture or even because of the language. The person is confronted to the same psychological consequences as any victim, however other difficulties add up to these expected consequences that can lead to an intensification of the victim’s trauma, or to limit the victim’s possibility to assert her rights.
What are those difficulties that are related to being a victim abroad? How to better help these often-forgotten victims, while considering this specific form of vulnerability? What are good practices to better support these victims? Which answer can we provide today and can we create others? In 2013, within the French embassy in India, the first victim support office has been created: why was this experience put together?

Council of Europe, Gender Equality Division – Violence against women and access to justice

This workshop will present pertinent standards contained in the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (2011), including countries which still need to ratify it, and the new Recommendation to prevent and combat sexism (March 2018 TBC)
The Gender Equality Division will also overview the results from the monitoring activities (Council of Europe’s GREVIO) as regards access to justice and give examples of practical tools developed to inspire initiatives, e.g. the training of professionals. This workshop will raise awareness amongst professionals, practitioners, policy-makers and the general public.

Victim Support Europe – Implementing the EU Victims’ Rights Directive – Vociare project

APAV – Sexual violence against children

Sexual Violence against minors is still a devastating problem relying in all societies around the world. It is known that only about one third of criminal acts are officially reported to police and most of these situations stay unknown for months or even years.
Several victims know the perpetrator, which increases their need for protection and support in order to uncover these crimes.
Victims (and their families and friends) may face some intern and extern obstacles when they are confronted with a situation of sexual violence, and also when they decide to report it: “What about now?”, “Will they ever believe me?”, “Which support can I obtain?”, “How can we help each other, as a family?”; “Which are my rights as a victim/as a relative of a victim?” are some of the questions that can be asked by the persons directly and indirectly affected by those crimes.
Therefore, a reflection may be needed: what can we all do? What good practices already exist and what other practices can be implemented throughout Europe?

INVICTM – Supporting victims of terrorism and mass victimisation – success through partnerships

This workshop will focus on the importance international cooperation and partnerships in supporting victims of terrorism and mass violence. You will hear from the Chair of INVICTM who will provide an overview of the work of INVICTM and how that has led to the development of a National Working Group in Canada. Ms Verelst (INVICTM) will speak to the needs of foreign/cross-border victims in the immediate aftermath and longer term as well as who needs to be involved in the response and the importance of international cooperation/collaboration. Paul Flood and Jill Roark from the FBI Victim Services Division will outline the FBI’s agency response capabilities, the importance of planning and preparedness, predictable challenges/practical solutions and lessons learned form recent attacks from a domestic and international lens.

Sue O’sullivan – Chair INVICTM
An Verelst – INVICTM
Paul Flood – FBI Victim Services
Jill Roark – FBI Victim Services

DAY 2: 13 JUNE 2019

SESSION 3 – 11:30-12:30

European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) – Victims and mass media

During this workshop, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims will present and discuss their Manifesto (March 2019) to journalists and media about ethical and privacy topics and other useful considerations which are relevant for all victims of crime and violence when contacted by the press.
After a conference organized by PAT A PAT (Spain) and FEVR in September 2018 in Barcelona, where journalists and road traffic victims discussed best practices, the FEVR has launched this Manifesto. Victims need to be treated with respect and dignity. For Journalists however it is not always easy to find their way to the right and correct information. All too often they are faced with complex matters such as moral and sensitive content, judicial and insurance aspects. Therefore, this has to be done very carefully otherwise victims’ risk secondary victimisation.
The Manifesto is based on conference recommendations, testimonies from victims, earlier workshops and publications from FEVR member associations, own experiences, as well as contacts with professionals.
The following questions will be addressed: can the media help to improve society, to raise awareness about aspects that should concern us all? Is everything worth to sell the news? What impact does it has on victims and relatives depending on how journalists tell the news?

Fondation A&P Sommer – Supporting dogs for crime victims: adapting North American models to France
Courthouse Dogs Foundation – Facility dogs

In April 2019, on his first day of work, France’s 1st “judicial” support dog enabled a child victim who had previously refused to speak to any law enforcement officials to feel comfortable enough to do so.
Orchestrated by the A&P Sommer Foundation, a French non-profit dedicated to developing animal-assisted activities in social service and healthcare settings, this pilot initiative is the result of 2 years gathering information, bringing together critical actors, and helping to adapt American and Canadian examples to France.
What has it taken to get the program off the ground? What does the French version look like? What challenges lay ahead? How can European Victim Support associations get involved?

AVEMA France Victimes 01 and Frances Victimes 37 – The development of new tools for victim support: socio-aesthetics and the project Gépalemojust

Socio-aesthetics is a nationally certified competence that aims towards personal assistance in a psychosocial prism through body mediation.
It defines itself through the awakening of the senses, the recovery of self-esteem, the approach to hygiene rules, the involvement in maintaining or recovering one’s identity, the help to communicate, exchange and listen. Socio-aesthetics mainly is a relational care rather than a cosmetic care. It differs from other professionals by bringing special and complementary approach, attention and support. It is part of a care or support project within a multidisciplinary team.
Socio-aesthetics deals with the recovery of self-esteem and self-worth as well as enhancing the individual and identity reconstruction. It creates a sense of well-being and pleasure on the basis of the desire to live, it encourages individuals to take care of themselves and stay connected to others, and it enhances victims’ assistance and support to their professional rehabilitation.
This workshop aims at understanding socio-aesthetics as a psycho-physical approach of the victim (children, teenagers, adults), regardless of the victimisation: wilful violence, sexual violence, traumatic grief, domestic violence, terrorist attacks, etc.

What to do when a victim on the national territory does not control the French because it comes from another country or because it does not know the French justice?
How to understand and best approach the workings of justice?
Gépalemojust is a tool to help understanding and simplification for all people away from the French judicial culture.
Initially designed for people who do not speak the French language, Gépalemojust also facilitates exchanges between professionals and victims who have little or no knowledge of French.
It is an educational tool, easy to use for professionals whose mission is to take care of victims of criminal offenses. The collection of speech and the explanations derived from it are thus simplified. Created by a victim support service, it has been tested for several months by the France Victimes network and brings a real plus value. It is directly centered on the victim (and not the author of the facts): role of the civil party, the trial, the compensation … It allows an exchange certainly summary but effective.

Fonds de Garantie des Victimes des actes de Terrorisme et autres Infractions (FGTI) and Victim Support Europe – A victim’s journey from crime to compensation

In 2004 the European Commission enacted a Directive on compensation for victims of crime. 15 years later, victims of crime across Europe face numerous, and sometimes unsurmountable, obstacles accessing this essential form of restitution. VSE’s policy officer Ruth Shrimpling will explore the key hurdles victims face in claiming and obtaining compensation, and offer recommendations for a Europe where victims’ rights exist in practice as they do in legislation.

APAV – Planning for victim support response to a terrorist attack

There are similarities between the response to a terrorist attack or other kind of natural or man-made disasters, such as the immediate support to victims, and the multiplicity of different first responders’ organizations (medical emergency, red cross, civil protection, etc.). Nevertheless, a terrorist attack it is also a crime scene.
Victim support services play a very important role on the response to these events. The management of information, provide to the victims, or that is shared by the victims is crucial to provide support for those who need it, and the needs are going to be very different depending the degree of exposure to the event, family ties, cultural and religion, direct needs provoked by the event, etc.
The participation of victim support services on the support after a terrorist attack has to be faced as a system. The following issues have to be considered: direct support and information to victims, their friends and relatives; registration of victims; information to the public; narratives and counter-narratives of radicalization.

SESSION 4 – 13:30-15:00

Spiritan Asylum Services – Making sense of vulnerabilities: Best practice to aide recovery

This is a highly interactive experiential workshop aimed at 1) comprehending clinical conceptualisation of victims’ experience of vulnerabilities and 2) developing key techniques to install hope, manage vulnerabilities and enhance therapeutic alliance. One of the most difficult areas of therapeutic work is working with victims of violence and abuse. Irrespective of the type of abuse and the degree of violence sustained, the road to recovery needs to include two vital factors: unconditional positive regard and empathy. However, the stronger the pain experienced, the harder it becomes for the victims to open up, trust and build a therapeutic alliance with aiding professionals. How do we respond and communicate the empathy when victims will not let us in? This workshop will help participants develop key techniques that the facilitator has drawn from existing literature on best practice and her own practice-based research. These techniques are based on the two most existential crisis that victims experience and are aimed at 1) rebuilding the victim’s sense of self (who am I?, where do I belong?) and 2) reassigning victim’s meanings and purpose of life (what am I here for? who am I for you?).

Victim Support Netherlands – Improvement of offender compensation to victims within criminal proceedings

This workshop will focus on the part of Joëlle Milquet’s report regarding victims’ rights to compensation, on EU initiatives to improve offender compensation to victims within the judicial proceedings (p. 55-57). A number of the recommendations from the report are already in force in the Netherlands. How do they work in practice? What role does Victim Support Netherlands play in this? Are elements of the Dutch system also applicable in other countries? Which measures are the most important?
If victims suffer major damage because they have been seriously injured, they often end up with a lot of non-compensated damage. A civil procedure is generally not a solution, because it involves a lot of costs. Moreover, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to collect the rewarded compensation from the perpetrator. Are there solutions to this problem?
On the basis of propositions, the options will be discussed for achieving (more complete) compensation for victims in criminal proceedings, as well as the feasibility of such solutions.
Please come ready to discuss the most important bottlenecks of your national compensation system for victims.

Victim Support Europe (VSE’s members only) – Data protection

This workshop will focus on the implications of new GDPR rules. It will allow members to discuss how they have implemented rules, the problems or questions that have arisen and how they have sought to resolve them. By the end of the workshop, the aim is to have identified core issues to research further and to potentially discuss with the European Commission, Data Commissioners and other key actors to ensure data protection rules benefit victims without inhibiting service delivery.

Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority – Free will only – new law on sexual offences and awareness raising campaign

As of the 1st of July 2018, Sweden has a new sexual offence legislation based on the idea that sex is always voluntary. Sex must be an act of free will, otherwise it is illegal. The law clarifies that everyone has the right to decide over their body and their sexuality. This means that to convict a perpetrator of rape it is no longer required to establish that violence or threats were used.
In connection to the enactment of the law, The Swedish government commissioned the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority to disseminate information about the new legislation, primarily to young people. This resulted in a campaign called Free will only and a website called
In this presentation, the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority will present an overview of the Swedish legislation on sexual offenses as well as how the work with the campaign evolved. The Authority will also share results from evaluations made within the target group, before and after the campaign. During the workshop, participants are invited to share knowledge and submit ideas and feedback both orally as well as through an electronic voting tool.

Victim Support Sweden – Democracy Crime

Sweden was the first country in the world to introduce laws regarding freedom of speech, with the first ”Tryckfrihetsförordningen” dating back to 1766.  Unfortunately, threats against politicians and journalists have increased in recent years. The term Democracy Crime has been introduced in Sweden, and although it is not yet a separate crime category, it is used to describe threats and attempts to influence political representatives, journalists, artists and other professionals working within the realms of ”freedom of speech” and ”freedom of the press”. During the last two years, Victim Support Sweden has ran projects specifically aimed at increasing our capacity to respond and provide the best possible support to victims of Democracy Crime.

The aim of this workshop is to increase knowledge of Democracy Crimes, what crime categories are included and what the incidents can look like in practice, discuss the impact of the threats and attempts to influence on individual victims as well as on democracy as a whole, explore reporting trends and what factors imact on victims´ willingness to report the incident, discuss what different organisations and agencies are doing in Sweden to support victims and to address the impact of Demoracy Crimes.