Victims and witnesses should have access to victim support services at all times.
The support should be free and confidential.
The support must not depend on whether the crime has been officially reported, and (if it has) it should be provided before, during and after the criminal or misdemeanour proceedings.
The goals of providing assistance and support are equality of access to justice, avoiding additional trauma and the feeling of being abandoned, as well as empowering victims and witnesses to seek rehabilitation and rebuild violated rights.
Support provided by victim support services
- information, advice and support pertaining to victim rights
- information about relevant services for expert support or directly refering victims to said service
- emotional and psychological support
- counselling regarding financial or practical issues as a consequence of the criminal offence
- counselling about the risk and prevention of secondary or repeated victimization, intimidation and retaliation
In accordance with special regulation, victims also have the right to free legal aid and support.
As a minimum, the specialist support services need to provide:
- shelters or other temporary accommodations for victims who require a safe place due to direct risk of secondary and repeat victimisation, intimidation and retaliation;
- specific and integrated support for victims with special needs, such as victims of sexual violence, victims of gender-based violence and victims of violence in intimate partner relations, including support in overcoming trauma and counseling.
Information on victims shall be transmitted with respect to the right to protection of privacy and in accordance with the rules on data protection.
Support for victims is provided by the judiciary and other state organs and institutions, as well as non-governmental organisations.