EUROPEAN DAY FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
Every year on February 22nd, the European Day for Victims of Crime comes against those who divide society through hate and violence. It’s also a day to spread awareness for the fundamental rights of crime victims.
Every year throughout Europe, about 75 million people become victims of crime. It’s not uncommon for these victims to suffer physical and mental trauma. For this reason, it’s important that their right to report the crime or access justice is not denied. Equally important is their right to seek protection and not fear retaliation. When these rights are kept in place, more victims come forward.
Those with disabilities are one group of people that is especially vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime. This is especially true of those who lack the physical ability to fight back. Some people with disabilities have communications barriers, which makes it hard for them to report a crime. In Europe, women with disabilities are up to 5 times more likely to become a victim of crime. Violent crimes are committed against them, as well as hate crimes and harassment.
Victims of crime have a wide range of needs. Some of these needs include:
- Recognition as a victim.
- Protection during criminal investigations and court proceedings.
- Long-term physical and psychological assistance.
- Knowledge and understanding of their rights.
- Monetary compensation paid by the state, offender, or other form of restorative justice.
When the needs of crime victims are met, it increases their ability to recover and for justice to be fully served.
HOW TO OBSERVE #EuropeanDayForVictimsOfCrime
On this day, the European Union (EU) recognizes the plight of crime victims and gives voice to their needs. Many people hold memorial services to remember family members and friends who have died as a result of being a crime victim. It’s also a day for those in government to release reports on the needs and experiences of victims of crime. To participate, think about ways you can help victims of crime in your community. You can also spread awareness for this day on social media with #EuropeanDayForVictimsOfCrime.
EUROPEAN DAY FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME HISTORY
In 2012, the EU adopted a directive on minimum standards for victims of crime. To aid in this endeavor, they created the European Day for Victims of Crime. The first event was held on February 22, 2014. In 2015, every Member State of the EU made a clear commitment to establishing victim support services.