The ‘Keep your eyes open’ campaign aims to create an environment where victims of crime feel safe, understood and supported. Launched by the European Commission, the campaign’s goal is to ensure that the victims understand their rights and that they feel empowered to use them and to seek justice. The campaign also aims to guarantee that victims are treated with fairness, dignity and respect, that their voices are heard and that they know where they can seek support.
Why does the campaign focus on these crimes
The ‘Keep your eyes open’ campaign focuses on crimes against children, xenophobic hate crimes, anti-LGBTIQ hate crimes, violent crime and gender-based violence. However, it is important to remember that all crimes can have serious repercussions for the victims. The victims’ rights outlined on this site apply to the victims of all crimes and some of the support services may be available to victims of crimes other than the ones listed.
Why the EU is taking action now
During the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdowns across the EU, public authorities reported a rise in domestic violence, child sexual abuse, cybercrime, and racist and xenophobic hate crime. Every year, millions of people are the victims of crime; it can affect any one of us. That’s why it’s important we know our rights and where we can turn for help, for ourselves or our loved ones. The campaign was announced in the first EU Strategy on victims’ rights (2020-2025).
It is vital that victims are able to seek the support, protection and justice they need. Victims must be treated with respect and consideration. If not, there is a risk of secondary and repeat victimisation, where the victim suffers further harm due to how institutions or individuals deal with the victim.
The European Commission is launching this campaign to ensure that the victims of crimes and their friends and family are aware of the advice and support services, shelters (including children and family houses), helplines, emotional and psychological support, medical aid, trauma support and counselling, and other social services that are available to them.
What does the EU do to protect victims?
In 2012, the European Commission adopted the Victims’ Rights Directive. This establishes minimum standards on the rights of victims of crime and lays out what support and protection should be available to them. Under the EU Strategy on victims’ rights (2020-2025), the Commission promotes better communication about victims’ rights and victims’ needs by launching an EU awareness campaign on victims’ rights.