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Publication date:25 April 2019

Sanctions that do justice – Justice for victims of violent crime, Part III

Victims of violent crime have various rights, including to protection and to access justice. But how are these rights playing out in practice? Are victims of violent crime properly seen, informed, empowered and heard? Do they tend to feel that justice has been done? Our four-part report series takes a closer look at these questions, based on interviews with victims, people working for victim support organisations, police officers, attorneys, prosecutors and judges.


This project aims to assess how victims experience rights in practice during criminal proceedings. It seeks to find out how national laws fulfil, promote and protect the fundamental rights of victims’ access to justice on the ground. It will also try to see how access to justice can be further developed in a sustainable way.


Current policy measures and practice on the ground regarding crime victims’ rights to have access to justice vary across and within Member States. By reviewing national laws and their practical implementation, the project aims to assess the reality of victims’ access to justice and identify promising practices in Member States.


This project included desk research and 230 face-to-face interviews with practitioners and adult victims of violent offences in seven EU Member States: Austria, Germany, France, UK, Portugal, Netherlands and Poland. The practitioners came from support services, the police as well as public prosecutors, judges and lawyers representing victims in criminal proceedings.


The results will be published in 2019 as comparative reports focusing on the procedural rights of victims in general and on the rights of women as victims of domestic partner violence.