What is victim support?
Victim support is a free public social service aimed at maintaining or enhancing the victim's ability to cope.
Victim support workers provide emotional support and share information on the possibilities of obtaining help. Furthermore, they guide and assist in communicating with central and local government authorities and other institutions providing services necessary for victims.
Any person who has fallen victim to negligence, mistreatment or physical, mental or sexual abuse has the right to receive victim support. Any person who has been subject to suffering or injury has access to counselling regardless of whether the identity of the perpetrator has been disclosed or criminal proceedings have been brought against him/her.
If you wish to discuss your problem or feel that you need help to solve your problems or want to find a way out, contact a victim support worker.
The government compensates to the victims and their family members for the cost of psychological care where necessary
On 1 January 2007, the Victim Support Act Amendment Act entered into force with one of its objectives being that the government would compensate to the victims and their family members for the cost of psychological care where necessary.
Where appropriate the victim is entitled to compensation for the cost of psychological care in an amount of up to one minimum monthly wage (from 01.01.2017 470.00 euro), and his/her family members in an amount of up to three times the minimum monthly wage if their ability to cope has decreased due to an offence committed with regard to the victim. The members of a family requiring psychological care are entitled to a compensation for the cost of such care in a total amount of up to three times the minimum monthly wage.
The regulatory framework of compensating for the cost of psychological care was designed mainly for expediting the psychological rehabilitation of victims of minor crimes and misdemeanours (e.g. cases of family violence) and for enhancing the coping ability of the family members of persons who have fallen victim to acts of violence or other crimes.
The precondition for receiving compensation for the cost of psychological care is the institution of misdemeanour or criminal procedure with regard to the offence. The cost of psychological care will be compensated to the entitled person within one year of the commission of the offence. According to the Act, psychological care includes psychological counselling, psychotherapy or support group services.
In order to receive compensation for the cost of psychological care, a corresponding application must be submitted to a victim support worker. The cost of psychological care will be reimbursed by the Social Insurance Board.
The conciliation service was launched in February 2007. The conciliation procedure applies to crimes in the second degree – conciliation is sought between the parties to a second degree crime, i.e. the injured party and the suspect/accused. The provision of conciliation service is ensured by the Social Insurance Board and conciliation is carried out by victim support workers who have received relevant training.
The purpose of the conciliation procedure is to reach an agreement between the suspect/accused and the injured party to achieve conciliation and to remedy the damage caused by the offence. Conciliation allows increasing the involvement of the injured party in the decision-making process and reducing the stress, fear, anger and similar feelings entailed by the offence. The conciliation procedure is carried out with due respect to the interests of the injured/victim. Conciliation enhances the value of the injured/victim and increases his/her involvement. Conciliation deals with both parties to the offence.
If the parties consent to this, the prosecutor’s office or a court of law will make the decision to terminate criminal proceedings by reverting to the conciliation procedure. The conciliation process ends with the signature of a written conciliation agreement between the parties. The agreement sets out the procedure for and the conditions of remedying the damage caused by the offence, and it may also include other terms and conditions, including the performance of effective actions. The conciliator's main function is to guide the parties towards a normal and feasible agreement (i.e. performance of a work task in favour of the injured party, subjecting to treatment obligation and participation in therapy, etc).