Local level victim support services – a pillar of a holistic approach to urban security

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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.

The following questions will be discussed:

  • 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?

The Web conference will take place on September 29, 2022, from 14h00 – 15h30.

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