Signed in as:
Signed in as:
What is Victim Empowerment? Victim empowerment is an approach to facilitating access to a range of services for all people who have individually or collectively suffered harm, trauma and/or material loss through violence, crime, natural disaster, human accident and/or through socio-economic conditions.
It is the process of promoting the resourcefulness of victims of crime and violence by providing opportunities to access services available to them, as well as to use and build their own capacity and support networks and to act on their own choices .
Hence, empowerment may be defined as having (or taking) control, having a say, being listened to, being recognized and respected as an individual and having the choices one makes respected by others (moving from victim to survivor).
Victim empowerment aims to restore the loss or damage caused by criminal acts and their consequences through a variety of actions intended to empower the victim to deal with the consequences of the event, to leave it behind and suffer no further loss or damage.
It is premised upon the belief that individuals, families, and communities have the right to privacy, safety and human dignity, and that victims should play a more central role in the criminal justice process.
Victim support is the empathic, person-centred assistance rendered by an organization or individual following an incident of victimisation.
Through victim support aimed at victim empowerment, the victim is restored to a state as close as possible to that existing prior to the offence and ideally to a state where the person has been able to learn and grow.
Victims do not all have the same degrees of need for empowerment and support - there is a diversity of needs. In order to enable the disempowered victim to recover from the exposure to crime and violence, such needs must be met through a well-managed, integrated, multidisciplinary team approach. It is generally accepted that the empowerment of victims in a holistic manner reduces secondary victimisation, encourages co-operation with the criminal justice process, reinforces socially desired behaviour, and acts as a deterrent to offenders or potential offenders.
Victim empowerment thus has the potential to prevent and reduce crime and violence and to enhance the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE VICTIM EMPOWERMENT POLICY
These National Policy Guidelines are intended to achieve a society in which the rights and needs of victims of crime and violence are acknowledged and effectively addressed within a restorative justice framework.
Thus the objectives borne from this vision are to:
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