Have you been or do you know a victim of violence?
Violence against a person
Violence against a person can include harassment, assault, robbery and homicide.
What to do if you witness violence against a person being committed or know someone who is a victim:
- Call the police
- Alert people around you
- If it is safe for you to do so, attempt to intervene
- Even if you don’t inform the police as the crime is happening, you can still report it later and come forward as a witness
- Let the victim know that you support them, let them talk about what they’ve experienced and direct them towards additional support.
When talking to the victim of a crime:
- Listen attentively and let them know you believe them
- Be compassionate and patient, respect their feelings and choices
- Tell them you are sorry to hear about the event and that you want to help
- Do not minimise what they have experienced, tell them to move on or to stay silent or suggest that it may have been their fault.
Witnessing a crime can be traumatic, talk to people close to you and reach out for support.
Keep your eyes open to the different types of violence against a person.
Harassment is unwanted conduct with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Assault involves harming (physically or psychologically) another person.
Robbery involves taking property from another person through the use or threat of violence.
Homicide is the killing of one person by another.
in the European Union
The rights of victims’ family members
Many of the rights that apply to victims also apply to their family members, such as the right to access support services, the right to protection and the right to privacy.
Right to protection and to individual assessment
Victims and their family members have the right to be protected from secondary and repeat victimisation, intimidation, retaliation and emotional harm. The purpose of individual assessment is to identify whether victims have specific protection needs and to determine whether and to what extent they would benefit from special measures in the course of criminal proceedings. The dignity of victims must be protected when they are testifying.
Right to participate in criminal proceedings
Victims have the right to take part in criminal proceedings.
Right to support services
All victims have the right to confidential victim support services that is free of charge, acting in the interests of the victims before, during and for an appropriate time after criminal proceedings.
Right to information
Victims have the right to receive information on a range of topics including, but not limited to, what support is available and how to access it, compensation, restorative justice, protection, how to report criminal offences and how to access legal advice.
Right to understand and to be understood
Victims have the right to be heard, understood and respected. All communication with victims (written and spoken) must be simple and easy for them to understand.
Find out how keeping your eyes open can help victims of violence.