Ways Forward for Victims of Crime
People who have been made victims of crime are very diverse, come from all walks of life and are affected by many different types of crime. Victims of crime were once the forgotten people of the Criminal Justice System and the health and welfare services. When the Crown prosecuted an offender, a victim was often required to give evidence in court. Often victims suffered emotional and physical trauma, without being offered any assistance. Confusion and a lack of information about processes and procedures added to this trauma; quite simply the victim was ‘re-victimised’ by the very system established to offer protection and justice.
The 1985 UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power launched a new era for victims of crime. There has been much progress in recent years. Victim Support Australia (VSA) recognises the need to strengthen and extend these advances. VSA works towards improvements in the rights and services available to victims of crime within the justice, health and welfare systems.