Victims of crime in the EU: the extent and nature of support for victims - Summary

This summary outlines the research findings of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on support services for victims of crime across the EU from a fundamental rights perspective. It gives an overview of how current victim support service provision across the 28 EU Member States compares in practice with the objectives and goals for victim support set out by the Victims’ Directive. The focus is on the directive’s Articles 8 and 9 on support services, although other closely related provisions are also considered.

The rights of victims of crime to access justice and to be protected against repeat victimisation may remain illusory in practice if the victim fails to receive professional advice and support. This research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) examines support service provision for such victims across the 28 EU Member States, in line with the 2012 EU Victims’ Directive. It focuses not on abstract fundamental rights standards but on the final practical results.

FRA research identified promising practices that Member States looking to improve their victim support structures might turn to for inspiration. It also found several areas where Member States currently fall short of meeting the directive’s requirements. They will need to take further legislative and policy steps to ensure they comply with the directive by the implementation deadline of 16 November 2015.